Defy Media fired Signore on Oct. 8, citing a pattern of “egregious and intolerable behavior.” A woman had accused him in August 2017 of trying to sexually assault her on several occasions, and claimed that Signore threatened to fire her boyfriend if she complained. Several other women also complained of Signore’s conduct on Oct. 6, the day after the New York Times first exposed Harvey Weinstein’s harassment settlements and spurred a social media movement over the subject.
Signore was fired two days later, the same day that Weinstein was fired from the Weinstein Co. In the lawsuit, Signore alleges that Defy did not do any investigation before firing him and stripping him of his stake in the company.
“This case is not about denigrating the #MeToo movement,” Signore’s lawyers state. “This case is about preserving the integrity and influence of such movements by ensuring that powerful organizations are not permitted to exploit them for financial gain.”
Signore also states that he had consensual sex with the initial accuser in September 2015, and that they continued to exchange flirty texts afterwards. Signore says the company encouraged a culture of casual sex with fans, stating that “high-level management staff and shareholders were engaged in sexual and otherwise personal relationship(s) with fans, interns, and employees.”
“Defy leadership fostered a company culture of profanity and obscenity,” Signore’s attorneys state. “Sexual harassment was prevalent and went virtually unchecked.”
Signore also accuses Defy of defaming him.
In a separate statement, Signore thanked his attorneys for taking the case and vowed to clear his name.
“The past year has been extremely difficult after being falsely accused of sexual assault,” he said. “As a result, I had my ownership in the company taken away, lost my family and my reputation. I have never threatened, abused, assaulted or forced myself on anyone. I did however engage in infidelities that I regret tremendously. My ex-wife and my family are the true victims here and I am deeply sorry to them.”
Defy issued its own statement as well: “These claims are not grounded in facts and will be found to be baseless.”