Debbee Klein also accused Gores of executing a “March massacre,” laying off more than 200 people in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. In the suit, she alleges that Paradigm has violated an oral agreement to fire her only for cause, and owes her the remaining $2 million on her contract.
The suit also alleges that Gores lied about the reasons for calling off a merger with UTA in 2019. According to the complaint, Gores failed to inform his partners of the deal until the last minute, and they rejected it.
She claims that he had agreed to the terms of the deal, but issued a false statement claiming that he had decided not to pursue it.
Klein also accuses Gores of crude and sexist behavior in the office, such as when he bragged to her about the sexual prowess of his new girlfriend, and showed her a photo of the girlfriend in her underwear. The suit also claims that Gores repeatedly promoted less qualified male agents at Klein’s expense.
Klein says she learned about the prostitutes earlier this year, when Gores fired his longtime executive assistant, who then confided in Klein.
“Plaintiff learned that Mr. Gores had forced his executive assistant to hire prostitutes to service him and others, and that Mr. Gores had directed his executive assistant to pay for these prostitutes through Paradigm’s bank account,” the suit states.
According to the suit, Klein said she confronted Gores about this. Klein says she also refused Gores’ request to loan the company $500,000 of her salary in order to show a fraudulent “income stream” to its bank. Klein said that Gores assured her she would be repaid, but that she refused to participate in a conspiracy to defraud the bank.
Klein says she was terminated on March 20, amid the coronavirus pandemic, and that the company reneged on its commitment to pay out the remainder of her contract.
The suit alleges that Gores singled out employees who he felt were “overpaid,” but that in reality his financial mismanagement was to blame for the company’s position. The suit also alleges that Gores did not lay off his personal chef and driver.
Klein represented Marc Cherry, the creator of “Desperate Housewives,” Eric Tuchman, the executive producer of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and Shane Brennan, the creator of “NCIS: Los Angeles.”
She is represented by attorney Bryan J. Freedman of Freedman and Taitelman LLP.
Update: Dale Kinsella, Paradigm’s attorney, has issued a response:
“We have seen Ms. Klein’s complaint and it is littered with false, frivolous and scurrilous allegations, which, fortunately for her, are protected by the First Amendment, otherwise she would be facing a defamation suit. Both Paradigm and Mr. Gores expect to be 100 percent vindicated, and our intention is to respond further in court filings.”