The monthlong dispute between Sandy Gallin and personal managers Jeff Kwatinetz and Michael Green moved to the courthouse Friday as Kwatinetz and Green filed lawsuits claiming they were forced out of Gallin’s firm as a result of the hostile work environment.
Kwatinetz and Green, who last month abruptly left management powerhouse Gallin-Morey Associates and bowed their own shop, the Firm, claimed in separate, but similar, lawsuits filed in L.A. Superior Court that “increasingly harassing, humiliating and obscene working conditions” forced them to exit the company.
But Gallin’s lawyers assert the pair are still under contract and the lawsuit’s salacious claims are “an attempt to avoid their contractual obligations relating to commissions. They have made these completely erroneous charges in a desperate attempt to create a sideshow and divert attention from their clear contractual obligations,” according to a statement from Irell & Manella, the law firm representing Gallin.
Daily abuse alleged
The pair allege that employees were abused daily at the agency and that Gallin asked both Kwatinetz and Green for help “in finding young men to satisfy Gallin’s sexual desires,” the lawsuit alleges. Both plaintiffs have hired attorney Larry Stein of Stein and Kahan to press their claims.
Kwatinetz and Green, whose client list boasts music acts Korn, Cold and Alana Davis, actors Martin Lawrence and Lacey Chabert and writer-director Roland Joffe, among others, have also hired managers Peter Katsis and Jon Cornick to help staff the Firm.
Kwatinetz also claimed in his lawsuit that he was “pressured” by Gallin “to attempt to engage in sexual relations with clients and others in an effort to secure business relationships with new clients.”
According to the lawsuit, Kwatinetz said that after he complained, the agency began excluding him from meetings and lying to music industry execs about him.
He also said he has not been reimbursed for expenses by the agency and was not paid commissions for representing the band Korn, which his new firm now manages.
Both lawsuits seek compensatory and punitive damages to be proven at trial.