APA Seeks to Move Assistant’s Harassment Suit to Arbitration

APA filed a motion Tuesday seeking to force an ex-assistant to arbitrate her claims of sexual harassment and verbal abuse.

The motion, filed in L.A. Superior Court, accuses the former assistant of fabricating texts and emails in order to accuse the agency of fostering a “toxic, pervasive and sexually abusive environment.”

The assistant, known in court only as Jane Doe, filed the suit on June 19. She accuses CEO Jim Gosnell of going on violent tirades, and throwing objects like a stapler and a trash can at her. She also accuses executives Josh Humiston and Paul Santana of sending her lurid propositions via text message. The suit alleged that Humiston threatened to have her fired when she refused.

In its motion, the agency alleged that the former assistant was engaged in an effort to extort the company out of tens of millions of dollars. The motion also contends that the assistant was previously held liable for fraud in a civil case in Maryland, and was hit with a $500,000 judgment.

In addition to seeking to move the case to arbitration, the agency is also threatening to file a complaint for malicious prosecution against the plaintiff and her attorneys. The plaintiff is represented by Geragos & Geragos and attorney Michael Popok. Popok previously told Variety that he believes the messages to be genuine, and he said that other witnesses would corroborate his client’s allegations.

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