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Relativity Media fabricated a memo detailing sexual harassment accusations against its former production president Adam Fields, a New York judge ruled in late May. The ruling also said studio founder Ryan Kavanaugh “must be” one of the parties who authored the document.
The ruling and other documents were first reported by Deadline Hollywood.
The ruling awarded Fields almost $8.5 million in damages for breach of contract, and included a decision from arbitration judge Terry Friedman that a memo discussing seven women at the studio who complained of unwanted advances from Fields was fictional.
An email and phone call to Kavanaugh, who resigned his post as CEO in December 2016, seeking comment was not immediately returned. Likewise, attorneys for Fields did not return requests for comment.
The falsified evidence in question is a memo which appeared to be from former Kavanaugh lawyer and Relativity Managing Director Carol Genis. It “purported to document a pattern of egregious misconduct by Mr. Fields — none of which, strangely, was mentioned in his termination letter.”
The memo detailing the accused harassment was submitted two weeks before a wrongful termination case brought by Fields against Kavanaugh was set for trial. It was part of a 2,000 document parcel that was said to have just been found, according to Fields’ attorneys. The memo came well after the close of discovery for evidence, the new ruling said.
“After being given special access to Ms. Genis’s supposed private folders, he fortuitously located the memo and provided it to counsel,” attorneys for Fields said of Kavanaugh.
A forensics expert hired by Fields’ attorneys found manipulations in the document’s metadata, which indicated the memo in question was altered after Genis left Relativity. A user who accessed the document after Genis’ departure used the login credentials “kav kav.”
While the judge’s takeaway was that Kavanaugh invented and submitted a document as evidence to justify terminating Fields in late 2016, the ruling also came with an egregious tale of accused sabotage targeting Fields within the studio.
It details his successful shepherding of the 2011 Bradley Cooper thriller “Limitless,’ which lead to his full-time employment as production co-chief and eventually studio president, Following the naming of Dana Brunetti (actor Kevin Spacey’s longtime producing partner) to the creative head of the studio, Fields says Kavanaugh and his team worked to find any excuse to terminate him.
That came in the September two years ago, when Fields rode the same elevator with a Hollywood trade reporter who had visited the office unannounced. Their “seven-second” ride down on the lift was extrapolated into Fields “violating his company’s NDA by talking to the press and disparaging the company.”
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.
Source: the wrap feed
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