APA Calls Sexual Harassment Suit A “Shakedown,” Files Request For Arbitration

APA Agency

Hollywood agency APA, which was hit by a series of lurid allegations in a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit filed last month by an ex-employee, has filed its own legal response to the matter.

In a new filing Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court (read it here), APA asks Judge Malcolm Mackey to compel the case to arbitration.

APA takes aim at the lawsuit by the former employee, who was identified in court papers only as Jane Doe and who worked as an assistant to APA chief Jim Gosnell before becoming a junior agent. The agency said in its filing that the suit is part of a “continuing unabashed attempt to extort and shake down” the company. Doe, it continued, “has anonymously filed a complaint containing false and salacious allegations” in pursuit of a “windfall” obtained through “blackmail.”

The company’s employment agreement, along with past case law, requires such disputes to be settled via arbitration rather than the court system, APA maintains.

Doe’s complaint alleged a pattern of sexual harassment and retaliation by APA and its management and what it called a “toxic” workplace. It cited a series of text messages and emails allegedly received by Doe, which APA’s latest filing characterizes as phony. The agency said it hired a retired judge, who in turn brought in a forensic investigator, to assess the validity of the messages.

“The judge and the forensic investigator concluded that the two emails were not authentic and that they were created or manipulated to reflect authorship by individuals who credibly denied creating them,” APA said in the filing. The text messages were similarly falsified, APA said.

A hearing has been scheduled before Mackey on October 22.

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2019/07/apa-calls-sexual-harassment-suit-a-shakedown-files-request-for-arbitration-1202647834/