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Republic Records Group president Charlie Walk has hired attorney Patty Glaser of Glaser Weil Fink Howard Avchen & Shapiro LLP to fight sexual misconduct allegations leveled against him this week. Those claims have caused Walk to be placed on leave at Republic and to skip the taping of the finale of Fox’s The Four, on which he is a judge.
Glaser is a Hollywood power attorney — whose past clients have included Keith Olbermann, Conan O’Brien and Paula Deen — who last year notably took on Harvey Weinstein’s case fighting the disgraced film exec’s firing from The Weinstein Co. following dozens of accusations of sexual assault. She is a regularly honoree on The Hollywood Reporter‘s Power Lawyers list of the top entertainment attorneys in America and, according to her company website, “tops the short list of trial attorneys in the nation sought after for high-stakes litigation.”
On Wednesday, Republic announced Walk would be placed on leave while the law firm Collazo Florentino & Keil LLP conducts an independent investigation into the multiple allegations of sexual misconduct that were made against him this week.
Later that day, Walk announced that he would not participate in The Four‘s season finale taping on Friday “out of respect for the contestants, my fellow judges and everyone involved with the show” because he does not want his “presence to be a distraction.”
“Needless to say this is very upsetting,” Walk said in a statement. “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.”
The accusations against Walk began on Monday when Tristan Coopersmith, founder of the Southern California wellness studio Life Lab, published an open letter on her company’s website accusing Walk of making “lewd comments” about her body and sharing his sexual fantasies with her while she was his employee. In it, she also said he groped her by placing his hand on her upper thigh during dinners and even once drunkenly pushed her into his bedroom and onto his bed during an event being held at his home.
Coopersmith did not specify when the alleged incidents occurred, but it appears likely they happened while Walk was president of Sony Music’s Epic Records, a position he held from 2005–2009. Sony Music declined to comment.
On Tuesday, two more women spoke up anonymously with letters published in Bob Lefsetz’s Lefsetz Letter music industry email newsletter also claiming sexual harassment, one of whom said the alleged incidents occurred while she and Walk were at Republic. Walk joined Republic Records in 2013 and was named president of the Republic Records Group in 2016.
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