Universal Music Group paid its former high-flying record exec Charlie Walk $1.7 million to stroll away in a 2018 amid sexual harassment and assault claims towards him, in keeping with newly unsealed courtroom paperwork.
The settlement quantity was revealed in a separate authorized dispute in New York state courtroom between Walk and the sharp-elbowed lawyer who bought him the deal — Marc Kasowitz, greatest identified for advising Donald Trump in the Russia investigation.
Walk, a former president of Republic Records who additionally was a decide on Fox’s actuality TV music competitors present “The Four,” has sued Kasowitz and his agency, Kasowitz Benson Torres for malpractice.
Walk claims they “pressured” him into taking a deal after he was accused of sexual misconduct by 5 feminine workers, and that the lawyer “botched” settlement negotiations — forcing a New York state decide to unseal the settlement.
Walk is in search of $60 million to account for misplaced compensation since his 2018 dismissal, in keeping with Walk’s new attorneys at Schlam Stone & Dolan; Benson Torres and Freedman & Taitelman.
According to a movement to dismiss the go well with filed by Kasowitz on Monday, Walk selected to resign from Universal and pursue a “voluntary” settlement, which turned out to be the $1.7 million lump sum that was equal to the exec’s wage and bonus for the yr.
Kasowitz stated Walk is merely bringing this “frivolous” lawsuit towards his agency after “failing to resuscitate his career.” He added that the go well with is a “publicity stunt” to “try to change Walk’s public image .”
“Attempts to bully and intimidate Charlie Walk will not stop him from finally having his day in court,” shot again Walk’s lawyer Bryan Freedman. “Everyone deserves due process and qualified representation — that’s what we’re fighting for.”
In a March 25 lawsuit, Walk alleged that, “As is all too often the case with celebrity lawyers, Kasowitz could not be bothered to actually represent his client … Kasowitz — who was hired to be Mr. Walk’s heroic defender — passively cooperated with UMG, leaving Mr. Walk defenseless.”
Kasowitz punched again in a latest letter to Walk’s authorized crew, calling the allegations “ludicrously false” and noting that three different attorneys additionally had been advising Walk throughout the “entire period” he was being suggested by Kasowitz.
In its movement to dismiss, Kasowitz’s agency detailed the sexual misconduct claims. Chief amongst Walk’s accusers was Tristan Coopersmith, a lady who labored with Walk at Sony Music’s Columbia Records between 2004 and 2005, courtroom papers stated.
In 2018, Coopersmith posted an open letter on her well being and wellness weblog, Life Lab, alleging that Walk made “lewd comments” about her physique and “shared his fantasies of having sex with her.” She stated Walk despatched her “vulgar” texts and invited her to dinners along with his spouse, throughout which he “whispered disgusting things into her ear and placed his hand on her thigh.”
Coopersmith additionally described an occasion at Walk’s dwelling throughout which he cornered her in his bed room and pushed her onto the mattress whereas his spouse was in the subsequent room. Coopersmith claimed she negotiated an exit from the record firm and was “paid to keep her mouth shut.”
The weblog triggered a media frenzy and pave the best way for extra accusations from former workers at each Sony and UMG-owned labels. This prompted UMG to conduct an independent investigation of the accusations, throughout which Walk employed Kasowitz.
UMG decided that it had trigger to fireside Walk, and knowledgeable Kasowitz that his consumer had the selection to resign or be fired for trigger, which meant that he would obtain no compensation, in keeping with courtroom papers. Walk claims he was steered to settle and that he wasn’t given different choices reminiscent of taking the case to trial, which Kasowitz denies.