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John Skipper Quits ESPN After 20 Years, Admits To Having 'Substance Addiction'

Dec. 18 2017, Published 2:51 p.m. ET

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John Skipper has resigned as president of ESPN, after 20 years at the company! In a statement this Monday, the longtime network head claimed he had to leave due to a "substance addiction" that he had been battling for years.

RadarOnline.com readers know, Skipper, 61, was both ESPN's president, and Disney Media Networks' co-chairman.

George Bodenheimer will take over his duties until the network finds a replacement.

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"Today I have resigned from my duties as President of ESPN," Skipper said in a statement. "I have had a wonderful career at the Walt Disney Company and am grateful for the many opportunities and friendships. I owe a debt to many, but most profoundly Michael Lynton, George Bodenheimer and Bob Iger."

He then continued, explaining his reason for exiting the company.

"I have struggled for many years with a substance addiction. I have decided that the most important thing I can do right now is to take care of my problem," he said.

"I have disclosed that decision to the company, and we mutually agreed that it was appropriate that I resign. I will always appreciate the human understanding and warmth that Bob displayed here and always.

The beloved TV personality added that he was extremely ashamed to share his news, but realized it was the right thing to do, both for him and for the company.

"I come to this public disclosure with embarrassment, trepidation and a feeling of having let others I care about down," he said. "As I deal with this issue and what it means to me and my family, I ask for appropriate privacy and a little understanding.

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Skipper went on to thank his ESPN colleagues, saying he was proud of all their accomplishments and happy to have worked with them for so many years.

"I join John Skipper's many friends and colleagues across the company in wishing him well during this challenging time," Disney chairman and chief executive officer Bob Iger said in a statement following the news. "I respect his candor and support his decision to focus on his health and his family.

Stay with Radar for updates.

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