×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Claims of Extortion, Threatening Texts Circle Charlie Walk Controversy

While Universal Music Group conducts an internal review of Republic Records Group president Charlie Walk, who was accused of sexual misconduct by a former employee at Sony Music by way of an open letter published on the internet and circulated by industry blog The Lefsetz Letter on Jan. 29, a new claim by the executive points to an alleged extortion attempt.

The New York Post reports that Tom Gilligan, a veteran of Midwest radio, had been sending threatening texts to Walk purportedly promising to “use all of my powers … and blow your life up” and hinting, “The Me Too movement will be knocking on your door … Karma is tough.”

Walk’s legal team, according to the Post, went to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office requesting an investigation back in December. But the Feb. 5 report also brings into question whether the Gilligan threats were connected to the #MeToo outing.

However, the suggestion that Tristan Coopersmith, who wrote the blog post, titled “#MeToo An Open Letter to Charlie Walk,” and worked with Walk while at Columbia Records in the early 2000s, is connected to Gilligan or a conspiracy against Walk is one the Times Up Legal Defend Fund strongly denies.

“Tristan Coopersmith had never heard of Tom Gilligan and has never met him or discussed her story with him,” SKDK’s Hillary Rosen, who is representing Coopersmith through the Fund, tells Variety. “She stands by her story of Charlie Walk’s sexually harassing behavior with her and will not be intimidated by his lawyers suggesting she wants anything other than the truth to be told.” Walk has denied all of Coopersmith’s allegations.

According to an insider, Walk’s lawyers have yet to approach or make contact with Coopersmith. In addition, Walk’s legal team is weighing taking action against media outlets and websites publishing anonymous claims related to Walk’s alleged misconduct, sources tells Variety. Deadline reported on Tuesday that a representative for Walk had sent a letter to Lefsetz to that effect. The post remains on Lefsetz’s blog, which is read by thousands of music industry insiders.

Walk was put on leave from Republic Records, a subsidiary of Universal Music Group, on Jan. 31. Later that day, Walk withdrew from the finale of Fox competition show “The Four.” “Out of respect for the contestants, my fellow judges and everyone involved with the show, I have made the decision not to attend the finale of ‘The Four,’” he said in a statement provided to Variety. “I do not want my presence to be a distraction. Needless to say this is very upsetting. Although I continue to support the ‘Me Too’ movement, there has been an extreme rush to judgment against me in this particular case which is unfair and inconsistent with anything that even actually happened. I welcome any investigation so that in short order these unfounded and hurtful accusations can be put to rest.”

More Music

  • Ludwig Goransson Black Panther Composer

    Complete Guide to This Year's Oscar-Nominated Scores

    Unlike the song category, it’s impossible to predict the winner from this year’s quintet of original-score nominees. It’s almost anyone’s game. Swedish composer Ludwig Göransson spent a month in Africa recording unusual drums, flutes and vocals, then adding them to a massive London orchestra and choir to create a unique soundscape for the fictional land [...]

  • Oscars Best Song Nominees

    Complete Guide to This Year's Oscar-Nominated Songs

    This year’s crop of Oscar-nominated songs may be the most diverse in years: a ballad and a pop-rap from two of the year’s biggest films, plus a delicate lullaby from a Disney musical, a political themed anthem, and a novelty tune for singing cowboys. “Shallow,” the top-10 hit from “A Star Is Born,” is widely [...]

  • Bebe Rexha

    Bebe Rexha Drops New Single, 'Last Hurrah' (Listen)

    Bebe Rexha is back with her first single of 2019 — “Last Hurrah.” The Andrew Wells-produced track is Rexha’s first solo single since 2018’s “I’m a Mess,” which appeared on her debut album “Expectations” alongside the Grammy nominated “Meant to Be.” Inspired by some chocolate cake and a story about her friend, Rexha says the single [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content