×

ICM Agent Alleges Wrongful Termination Following False Accusation

An ICM Partners agent has filed a wrongful termination suit, alleging he was fired after being wrongfully accused of defecating on the bathroom floor.

Spencer Baumgarten, 58, alleges that he was interrogated in August by the HR director, Cindy Ballard, who accused him of defecating on the floor of the gender-neutral bathroom at the agency’s New York office. Baumgarten said he was humiliated and shocked by the allegation, which he denied.

Baumgarten said that gossip about the incident quickly spread around the agency, and many people approached him to inform him they had heard about it. The next day, he sent an email to Ballard copying the company’s general counsel, accusing her of engaging in a “ridiculous witch-hunt.” He also suggested she ask one of the “disgruntled agents” who had recently been fired.

“You think I’m that disgusting or discourteous to others and even if I had an accident, I wouldn’t have cleaned up for myself, I would never do anything like… which you described,” he wrote.

In a later conversation with the general counsel, Rick Levy, Baumgarten complained that Ballard had made him the subject of office gossip.

“The fact that people are talking about it internally is unacceptable,” he told Levy. “She left me vulnerable and exposed.”

According to the suit, Levy apologized on behalf of the company and explained that Ballard had to ask everyone who was seen on surveillance video. Unmollified, Baumgarten threatened to seek legal counsel.

A few days later, Baumgarten met with Chris Silbermann, the agency’s managing partner, who informed him that “it is just not really working.” Baumgarten was told that he would have time to “transition” to something else.

Baumgarten said that within weeks, he began hearing from people that he was leaving the agency.

Baumgarten alleges he was wrongfully terminated, and lists causes of action including age discrimination, whistleblower retaliation, and defamation. ICM Partners declined to comment.

More Biz

  • hulu-logo

    Hulu Appoints Netflix's Spencer Peeples as Vice President of Film and Awards Marketing

    Hulu has appointed Spencer Peeples, who currently works as director of awards at Netflix, as its vice president of film and awards marketing, marking the first time the Disney-owned streamer has hired a senior exec dedicated to awards. In his new high-profile role, Peeples will lead the strategy and execution of Hulu’s awards campaigns, as [...]

  • UTA headshot

    UTA Taps Ashley Momtaheni as Director of Corporate Communications

    Ashley Momtaheni is jumping ship from Annapurna Pictures to UTA. The agency has tapped Momtaheni as its new director of corporate communications, reporting to its global chief communications officer, Seth Oster. In her new role, Momtaheni will focus primarily on external communications, rounding out UTA’s senior communications team with veteran UTA comms executive Lisa Stein [...]

  • Euphoria HBO

    'It's an Explosion': Inside the Rising Costs of Making a Scripted TV Series

    When Apple TV plus launches on Nov. 1, it will do so with what’s arguably the most expensive new-series lineup in TV history. Among the streamer’s initial offerings are the drama “The Morning Show,” bearing a price tag believed to be more than $15 million an episode, and the dystopian sci-fi series “See,” which is [...]

  • CBS HEADQUARTERS

    Wall Street Trims ViacomCBS Forecasts After Post-Deal Financial Disclosure

    Top media analysts have cut their short-term growth prospects for ViacomCBS following last week’s financial disclosures that came as part of the closing of CBS Corp.’s stock-swap takeover deal for Viacom. In the Oct. 17 filing, CBS Corp. released specific year-to-year projections for its free cash flow yield, guidance that the company has not offered [...]

  • Alexander Vlahos (Monsieur/Philippe d'Orléans), George Blagden

    Merged Banijay-Endemol Shine Would Be Global Powerhouse in a Content-Hungry World

    If France’s Banijay Group clinches its proposed purchase of Endemol Shine, which could happen within the next few days, the deal would mark peak M&A in the international indie content world. The MO of both companies is acquiring and aggregating brands and IP, and their union would be the largest ever of its kind on [...]

  • Katie Couric Sheryl Sandberg

    Katie Couric Steamrolls Sheryl Sandberg in Roving Vanity Fair Summit Interview

    Sending a jolt through a luxurious and excessively polite afternoon in Beverly Hills, veteran journalist Katie Couric delivered a relentless series of hardball questions to Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg on Tuesday. Speaking in conversation at the sixth annual Vanity Fair New Establishment summit at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Couric’s [...]

  • Jussie Smollett

    Judge Refuses to Dismiss Chicago's Lawsuit Against Jussie Smollett

    A federal judge on Tuesday refused to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the City of Chicago, which is seeking to recoup investigative costs from former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett. Judge Virginia M. Kendall rejected Smollett’s contention that he should not be made to pay $130,000 in police overtime costs, plus $260,000 in damages, because he [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content