A judge has granted Bill Simmons, along with the staff of his sports and pop culture-centered outlet The Ringer, a restraining order against a former employee of the company, Variety has confirmed.
According to The Blast, Joseph Fuentes, a former digital audio director, had the restraining order brought against him for making “credible threats of violence” towards Simmons. Documents show that Fuentes was fired on April 25 after there were technical issues with The Ringer’s podcast, particularly on a recent episode featuring Jeff Goldblum.
After his termination, he returned to the Los Angeles studio several times, leading Simmons, the former HBO and ESPN sports personality, to eventually email Fuentes, asking him to stop contacting Ringer employees. “If you want to have an honest conversation about whatever is going on with you right now, I’m happy to do so — we’ve known each other for 7 years and it’s hard for me to fathom why you are behaving like this,” Simmons said at one point, as detailed in the documents.
Fuentes repeatedly contacted employees with strange messages, showing up at the office late one evening and asking two workers what they would do “if they needed to hide something from the police,” while pulling a wad of cash out of his pants and laughing. He also asked one woman out on a date and saying he would treat her like a “queen,” and on June 4, showed up at the Ringer studio lot claiming to have a meeting with executives that did not exist.
According to the restraining order, Fuentes is ordered to stay away 100 yards away from Simmons, Simmons’ wife and children, The Ringer office and its employees until a hearing next month. NBA player J.J. Redick, who hosts a podcast for The Ringer, is also protected.