APA execs deny sexual harassment claims
Executives at Los Angeles-based Agency for the Performing Arts (APA) have denied claims made in a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former employee, and claim evidence has been fabricated.
In the complaint, a former APA assistant – named pseudonymously as “Jane Doe” – accuses APA chief executive Jim Gosnell and other executives of nine charges, including sexual harassment and battery, gender violence, retaliation and wrongful termination.
The ex-employee alleges she was “incessantly subjected to sexual advances” and “crude and obscene comments” by Gosnell, Josh Humiston (head of music), Paul Santana (vice-president of talent) and Michael Hammond, chief operating office of APA client Collins Avenue Production.
In a statement made by APA, a spokesperson states that an independent investigation into the allegations, which were previously made internally, found claims to be false. The agency also claims sexually explicit text messages and emails, used as evidence against senior management, are fabricated.
“APA months ago sued the former employee in arbitration for extortion and defamation,” says the spokesperson. “We believe she is now retaliating against APA and its agents through this frivolous public complaint in which she hides her identity.”
“[APA] intends to take all appropriate legal action against her [the claimant] and her counsel”
The assistant was dismissed from APA in August last year, for reasons she terms “trumped up” and “pretextual” with “no basis in fact”.
The spokesperson states the agency intends to “take all appropriate legal action” against the claimant “and her counsel”.
An attorney for the claimant, Michael Popok, says he has confidence in his client’s “veracity”, stating that other witnesses would corroborate with the allegations. The attorney also backed up the validity of the text messages and other evidence.
APA dismissed agent Tyler Grasham in 2017 amid several alleged sexual abuse claims.
APA represents artists including 50 Cent, Kiefer Sutherland, Azealia Banks, Cee Lo Green, Mary J. Blige and Nickelback.
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