Absent from tomorrow’s finale of The Four: Battle for Stardom and scrubbed from most of the Fox series’ social media platforms after allegations of sexual harassment, Charlie Walk seemingly doesn’t want people talking about it – but may have just created the reverse outcome.
In a letter sent today to a prominent music blogger who referred to the currently on leave Republic Records boss as being potentially being “bounced” from the singing competition series and had a link to the initial allegations, lawyers for Walk are lumberingly seeking to have all mention and links of his exitingThe Four and the claims against him erased.
“It was especially reckless that, contrary to well-established journalistic standards and basic considerations of fairness, you did not even bother to contact Mr. Walk before publishing these false and damaging allegations and validating them with your own imprimatur,” said Thomas Clare on Tuesday in correspondence to Bob Lefsetz concerning a post the latter put up on January 29. A bit slow coming, that post was put up over a week ago and two days before The Four judge actually exited the show, at least as Fox review the claims against Walk. Maybe whipped off a little to quick, Clare’s letter also incorrectly notes Lefstez’s pondering post as going up on January 28, not the next day.
“Your blog post also surprisingly contained specific content authored by you that plainly sought to affirm the truth and validity of Ms. Coopersmith’s claims, which are false,” the letter asserts of the claims by Lab founder Tristan Coopersmith early last week describing an escalating pattern of potentially very inappropriate behavior by Walk when he was at Sony Music. “You expressly asserted that you think Mr. Walk should be fired from his job and more. Additionally, you solicited and sent to your subscribers worldwide additional uncorroborated, and false, claims about Mr. Walk that were republished widely in the media.”
Actually, Lefsetz’s post merely has a link to Coopersmith’s online letter and a line about the career consequence for men accused of sexual harassment and sexual assault. “Does Charlie Walk get bounced from television singing show The Four?” Lefsetz wrote. “One would think definitely, right?”
And that’s it about Walk. Period.
Additionally, two days before the finale of the Fergie hosted and Sean “Diddy” Combs, DJ Khaled and singer-songwriter Meghan Trainor co-judged show, today’s letter seems more inadvertently engineered to put a new spotlight on Walk and the allegations rather than quell them. Over the past few day, Walk looks to have been photo shopped out of the show’s Twitter feed banner and Facebook page.
“Surely your readers would have been glad to know what has really been taking place, including a criminal report to the authorities,” the Alexandria, Virginia based Clare Locke LLP attorney throws in to Lefsetz as well.
As another part of this PR pushback, that last statement is in reference to a meeting that Walk’s team had with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office late last year after receiving aggressive texts and messages from former radio exec Tom Gilligan promising “the MeToo movement will be knocking on your door.” The office of Cyrus Vance Jr had no official comment Tuesday on the meeting or the matter. However, sources tell Deadline that the D.A. is not presently actively probing the issue.
Which, having added Coopersmith’s claims to the DA sit down, is a far cry from where Clare was today.
“The scheme involved increasingly erratic text messages and voicemails accusing Mr. Walk of somehow affecting Gilligan’s relationship with Jon Bon Jovi and threatening to leverage the #MeToo movement to damage Mr. Walk, if Mr. Walk did not act promptly to repair this disturbed individual’s supposed relationship with Jon Bon Jovi,” said Clare. Mr. Walk has updated his report to the New York District Attorney’s Office to include Ms. Coopersmith’s suspiciously timed “Open Letter” and requested that law enforcement explore the connection between this failed extortion attempt, Mr. Gilligan, and Ms. Coopersmith’s allegations.”
As of right now, the post about the “curiously quiet” response by the music industry to the #MeToo movement is still up on Lefsetz’s music blog, which started as a newsletter 25-years ago, as is a link to Coopersmith’s letter. Lefsetz did not respond to request for comment by Deadline on the matter.
To keep the timeline straight, January 29 was also the same day that Walk said that Coopersmith’s allegations were “false.” On January 31, as another claim emerged, Republic Records overlords Universal Music Group put Walk on leave and he was soon after shifted off The Four stage.
Fox has not yet announced if The Four will be back for another season.