A self-described Hollywood “It boy” has sued producer Brian Graden, alleging that the former MTV executive used the lure of a potential reality TV series to extort sex.
Rovier Carrington filed the suit in New York Supreme Court. It accuses Graden, a former head of programming at MTV, of destroying his career and stealing his idea for a gay reality dating show. The suit states that Carrington and Graden had a two-year sexual relationship, during which time Graden promised to help produce various reality shows that Carrington was working on.
Carrington also alleges that he was sexually assaulted by Brad Grey, the late CEO and chairman of Paramount Pictures. He contends that Grey blacklisted him from working at Viacom after Carrington refused to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Carrington said he initially agreed to have sex with Graden because Graden agreed to help him work at Viacom again.
“Graden indicated to Carrington that if he wished to move forward with his reality show, and come off Viacom’s banned list, that he would be required to have sex with Graden, Carrington agreed, as having sex with Graden was now his only option if he wanted to work in the entertainment industry,” the lawsuit states.
In the suit, Carrington describes himself as “Hollywood royalty” because he is a great-grandson of Moe Howard, one of the Three Stooges. He says that in 2010, he began pitching various reality shows drawn from his life, including one called “The Life of a Trendsetter.” The show would feature “good looking kids from wealthy families, living together in a home, spending their
parents’ money.” He also pitched a “dark comedy” called “Inheritance,” and a gay dating show.
Carrington accuses Graden of stealing his idea for the dating show and turning it into “Finding Prince Charming,” which ran on Logo and featured Lance Bass. Graden left MTV in 2009, five years before the alleged sexual misconduct took place. He has since been an independent producer.
Carrington is seeking $100 million in damages from Viacom. The suit also names Grey’s estate as a defendant.
Viacom issued this response: “We take allegations of this sort seriously, and are reviewing the complaint.”
Graden’s attorney Larry Stein issued a statement Wednesday, writing: “This sensationalized and meritless lawsuit is particularly egregious as it attacks two respected executives, one of whom is an industry icon whose death prevents him from defending himself, and the other, who has had a long, sterling and unblemished career free of any implication of inappropriate behavior personally or professionally.
“The complaint, which reads more like fiction than fact, seems to be based more upon Mr. Carrington’s entitled belief that he is ‘Hollywood royalty’ with a ‘pedigree of a star’ because he claims his great grandfather was one of the Three Stooges, than on facts.
“It is unfortunately too common for wannabes to hold on to their entitlement, but uncommon for such claims to make headlines by use of hyperbole and baseless allegations of rape and conspiratorial extortionist conduct.
“The complaint ends just as it started, wildly untethered to reality, seeking damages in the hundreds of millions of dollars. We are confident that Mr. Graden will be fully vindicated and Mr. Carrington will be exposed for what and who he truly is.”
Updated at 4:06 p.m. PT with statement from Graden’s attorney.
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