You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Relativity Media Fabricated Memo Containing Claims of Sexual Harassment by Former Co-President Adam Fields

Relativity Media executives fabricated a memo outlining sexual harassment allegations against former executive and veteran producer Adam Fields, according to a finding in an arbitration case that found in favor of Fields.

The finding from the arbitrator contains explosive details of how Relativity Media sought to prove that it had fired Fields for cause. It was issued as supporting evidence in Fields’ bankruptcy filing seeking payment on the $8.4 million he was awarded.

Filed late last week, the filing contains a transcript from Carol Genis, former Relativity Media managing director, who refuted under oath that she had not written the memo outlining several allegations of sexual harassment by Fields, as Relativity Media executives, including former CEO Ryan Kavanaugh had said.

The filing comes several months after Fields was first accused of sexual harassment. Parts of the memo were quoted from in a Hollywood Reporter story and quoted a spokesperson as saying they immediately looked into the allegations of sexual harassment.

The bankruptcy filing also includes a declaration by Kavanaugh signed under oath that spelled out how he came to find the memo allegedly written by Genis after others had failed to locate it. In his declaration, Kavanaugh claimed that the memo existed and that he was “baffled” why a review of Fields’ personnel file had not turned up the document. He said he asked Relativity Media chief operating officer Ken Halsband for help in tracking in down. Halsband enlisted the help of the company’s information technology director who then allegedly found the document in a private folder Genis had supposedly created.

Fields and his attorneys immediately challenged the authenticity of the memo, which was found just days before the start of the arbitration hearing. During a one-day evidentiary hearing, Fields attorneys were able to show that the memo had been fabricated, possibly by Kavanaugh, after a forensic audit found that someone with the user name “kav kav” had altered the document.

Another HR manager, Terri McAlpine, said she was not aware of any sexual-harassment complaints against Field.

“Finding that a party falsified a document is disturbing and disappointing, and the arbitrator does so reluctantly,” according to the decision in the arbitration case. “However the evidence compels that result. Relativity’s counsel struggled to connect the dots in a way that could explain its client’s conduct, but their valiant effort could not overcome the metadata, the contrast in credibility and the absurdity of Relativity’s about-face and withdrawal of the memorandum.”

Shortly before the arbitration hearing began, Relativity had requested to withdraw the memo from the hearing after it had initially requested to introduce it as evidence that Fields was fired for cause.

Dale Kinsella, an attorney representing Fields, said in a statement to Variety that “a review of the complete record reveals that the judge’s opinion was spot on and reflected what could only reasonably be characterized as overwhelming proof of evidence tampering.”

A phone call and emails seeking comment from attorneys for Ryan Kavanaugh were not immediately returned Monday. A message left on the cell phone for Relativity Media’s Halsband was also not returned after Halsband initially answered a phone call from a Variety reporter.


More Film

  • Michael B. Jordan arrives at the

    Michael B. Jordan to Star in Warner Bros.' 'Methuselah' Movie

    Michael B. Jordan will produce and star in a “Methuselah” movie for Warner Bros., based on the Biblical story of a man who lived to be 969 years old. Jordan will produce through his Outlier Society production company along with Heyday’s David Heyman and Jeffrey Clifford. Warner Bros. has been developing the project for many [...]

  • Davids Chief Piera Detassis on Revamping

    Davids Chief Piera Detassis on Revamping Italy's Top Film Awards

    Piera Detassis recently became the first woman to head the David di Donatello Awards, Italy’s equivalent of the Oscars. Since then she’s been busy overhauling the inner workings of the prizes that will be awarded on Wednesday. Detassis, also the editor of Italian film publication Ciak, spoke exclusively to Variety about the challenges she’s faced [...]

  • Matteo Garrone's 'Dogman' Leads Davids Awards

    Matteo Garrone's 'Dogman' Leads Davids Awards Race

    With 15 nominations Matteo Garrone’s “Dogman” leads the pack of contenders for Italy’s David di Donatello Awards in a watershed year for the country’s top film nods that sees highbrow auteur titles reaping most of the David love just as local box-office grosses hit an all-time low. Garrone’s gritty revenge drama is followed closely with [...]

  • steven spielberg Apple TV Plus

    Steven Spielberg's Apple Appearance Riles Up Social Media: 'Big Old Mixed Message'

    Many Hollywood heavyweights flocked to Apple’s Cupertino, Calif. headquarters to help reveal the tech giant’s revamped steaming service Apple TV+ on Monday — but one such legend was so polarizing he became a national trending topic on Twitter for simply showing his face. Steven Spielberg was the first to appear in a dramatic short film [...]

  • Michael Lynne

    Former New Line Co-Chairman Michael Lynne Dies at 77

    Michael Lynne, the former co-chairman of New Line Cinema who played a key role in shepherding the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, has died at his New York home. He was 77. Lynne’s death was confirmed Monday by longtime business partner Robert Shaye, who told Variety that Lynne’s family had informed him of Lynne’s passing [...]

  • Marisa Liston

    Sony Veteran Marisa Liston to Lead Lionsgate Movie Publicity

    Lionsgate has named Sony Pictures veteran executive Marisa Liston to lead all feature film and motion picture group publicity and communications strategy. Liston, who departed Sony in late 2018 after 17 years, has been assigned the newly created title of head of global earned media and communications. She will oversee domestic and international feature film [...]

  • Studios Spurn WGA Request to Ban

    Studios Reject WGA Request to Ban Non-Franchised Talent Agents

    Studios have rejected a request by the Writers Guild of America to bar non-franchised talent agents if the current franchise agreement expires on April 7, saying it could expose them to extensive legal damages. The WGA will hold five days of member voting starting March 27 on a proposed “code of conduct” eliminating agency packaging [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content