Well, that was quick. Less than a week after Mallory Musallam filed a class action complaint against CBS Broadcasting, CBS Corp and the retiring late-night host’s Worldwide Pants on behalf of herself and everyone who has ever been an intern on Late Show With David Letterman, she dropped the case today. “The above-captioned action is discontinued in its entirety without prejudice,” said a short notice of discontinuance filed Wednesday in New York state court (read it here).
The ex-intern reportedly also wrote Letterman a letter, saying she was “coerced” into the lawsuit by lawyers, according to the New York Daily News. In the letter, Musallam, who interned at Late Show for four months in late 2008, claims “lawsuit hungry” attorneys found an online profile of her that showed she had been an intern at show and persuaded her to file an action. Today, CBS said that “the letter and apology speak for themselves.” At the time that Musallam’s potential class action became public, the network said in a statement that “this lawsuit is part of a nationwide trend of class action lawyers attacking internship opportunities provided by companies in the media and entertainment industry.” Earlier this week, CBS promised to “vigorously defend” itself against the action — something it won’t have to worry about now.
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CBS & David Letterman Slapped With Latest Intern Class Action Lawsuit
Seeking wages for work that she alleged should have been that of a paid employee, Musallam’s now-defunct action was similar to ongoing intern lawsuits that have hit the entertainment industry in recent years. It all got kicked up a notch with the potentially game-changing June 11, 2013, ruling that unpaid interns on the Darren Aronofsky-directed Black Swan actually were employees and could pursue a class action. Hearst and Warner Music are among those that have been sued since. In July 2013, NBCUniversal was slapped with a lawsuit by a former Saturday Night Live intern and a former MSNBC intern. Earlier this year, former ICM Partners interns Kimberly Behzadi and Jason Rindenau struck the agency with a class action of their own. Late last week, ICM lawyers filed a motion to have the action dismissed.
Lloyd Ambinder, LaDonna Lusher and Jack Newhouse of NYC firm Virginia & Ambinder LLP along with Jeffrey Brown, Daniel Markowitz and Michael Tompkins of Carle Place-based Leeds Brown Law P.C. were represnting Musallam in the now de-ad class action. They were the ones who filed the discontinuance for her today.
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