Photo taken by Geoffrey Coelho

Female actress says NESN host harassed her with repeated text messages

Alex Reimer
October 10, 2017 - 6:05 pm

A young female actress says a NESN host harassed her with repeated text messages for nearly two months after she declined his invitations to meet up for drinks and socialize.

Alyssa Labrie, 22, says she met “NESN Today” anchor Marc James while doing a photoshoot in Northampton over the summer. In a Facebook post dated Oct. 7, Labrie details her alleged communication with James, saying he introduced himself and asked for her contact information. She obliged, thinking he intended to network with her. 

It quickly became apparent James had other plans.

She says the host inundated her with messages asking to get together and bragging about his professional TV job. Eventually, she asked for the texts to stop. “I’ll be honest Marc, I’m not sure that’s going to happen,” she replied on Oct. 7 to the latest drink request, per screenshots of the conversation. “I’ve been really busy with my work and school. I was hoping to network professionally when I gave you my contact but think we run in different circles and I’m not really sure getting drinks would be a good idea. I really wish you all the best though.”

Afterwards, she says James started touting his career accomplishments. “I'll be honest Alyssa... I'm a network TV anchor & a nationally syndicated talk show host,” his number responded. “The fact that you claim you're quote 'busier than me' is a joke & almost an insult. You have absolutely NO Clue or Idea about My Schedule. I was trying to make a connection. Good luck in that Metropolis of Northampton!”

Labrie, who got her degree in acting and currently works in modeling, says James started contacting her in mid-August. In addition to asking for drinks, he would send pictures and videos of himself. viewed two of the messages: on Sept. 22, he forwarded a video of himself on the air at NESN. On Oct. 1, he sent a picture of himself on the field at Gillette Stadium prior to Patriots-Panthers. 

James declined comment when reached on the phone. NESN didn’t respond to requests for comment. 

In a conversation with journalist Ali Reid, James claimed a female friend had taken his phone Oct. 7 and started messaging Labrie on his behalf.

NESN hired James as an on-air personality in May, assigning him to a variety of studio shows. The anchor had previously worked in Atlanta, Miami, Tampa Bay and Charlotte. After leaving Tampa, James undertook his current broadcasting alias. His real name is, “Marc Benarzyk.” 

Bill Freitas, one of James’ ex-partners in Tampa, told Reid the text messages don’t surprise him. “I joked after he finally burned his last bridge in Tampa that the only way he'd get back in broadcasting is leave the state and change his name,” Freitas said. “And that's exactly what he did.”

Correction: Labrie is an actress and works in modeling. A previous version incorrectly referred to her an aspiring television anchor. 

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