Canadian sports network TSN has formally apologized for airing a nasty tweet from a hockey fan alleging that actress Elisha Cuthbert -- who is married to Toronto Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf -- is having an affair with the team's alternate captain, Joffrey Lupul. The apology was made public Tuesday night after Cuthbert, Phaneuf and Lupul threatened to sue both TSN and Anthony Adragna, the fan who wrote the tweet, which initially aired in a social media crawl during Monday's "TradeCenter" show.
"In spite of TSN's protocols to prevent unfounded and inappropriate tweets from making it to air, a false, and inappropriate tweet was allowed to run," said "SportsCentre" host James Duthie, reading the network's statement on his show Tuesday (via the Toronto Star). "There was no basis for the false allegation made in this tweet. TSN unreservedly apologizes to Joffrey Lupul, Dion Phaneuf and Elisha Cuthbert and regrets any embarrassment this unfortunate incident has caused to them."
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Cutherbert, Phaneuf and Lupul had attorneys from Gall Legge Grant & Munroe LLP send letters alerting the network that they expected TSN to "issue a formal apology and pay a significant amount of damages to each of our clients for broadcasting a false and defamatory tweet during their trade deadline show yesterday." THR reports that similar demands were made of Adragna.
As media attention exploded around thenow deleted tweet, Adragna continued to post about it on Twitter, suggesting that TSN's staff should have caught the inappropriate message before letting it run on television.
"Whats all this crap about a lawsuit. If anyone is getting sued its TSN for being negligent not me," he wrote in one tweet. In another, he pointed out, "I have no control over their decision about what gets put on air."
The network has not publicly responded to demands for payment of damages over the incident.