1:26pm PT by Ashley Cullins
APA Threatens Sanctions in Response to Ricky Garcia's Sexual Abuse Lawsuit
APA is firing back in response to a sexual abuse lawsuit filed by Ricky Garcia, a 20-year-old member of the boy band Forever In Your Mind.
Garcia earlier this month sued the agency for its alleged role in perpetuating the abuse he claims to have endured at the hand of his ex-manager Joby Harte and former APA agent Tyler Grasham, who was fired amid previous sexual assault allegations. Garcia claims APA ratified the assault by "fostering a sexually abusive culture in their offices."
In a letter sent Monday to Garcia's attorney Ben Meiselas, APA's lawyer Adam Levin says the agency investigated the allegations against it and determined they're "wholly frivolous and unfounded" — although he also says the agency doesn't know what happened between Garcia and Gresham.
Levin continues to say his goal is to persuade Garcia to drop the claims against the agency, and reminds Meiselas that attorneys can be sanctioned under California law if they fail to verify the merits of a claim — including an order directing payment of related attorney's fees.
"Here, Garcia has no basis in law or in fact to sue APA," writes Levin. "Though we have no knowledge of what did or did not transpire between your client and Tyler Grasham (who has not been associated with APA since 2017), there clearly is no basis for you to proceed on any action against APA. In particular, APA could not under any circumstances be liable for the single act upon which your claims against APA are based — an alleged assault on your client by Grasham at Grasham’s home in 2014. Accordingly, we demand that Garcia immediately dismiss APA from his misguided action. If he fails to do so, both you and Garcia will be held legally responsible for your actions including, but not limited to, claims against you for malicious prosecution after APA prevails in this action."
Meiselas minced no words in his response to Levin.
"[T]hreatening a sex assault victim with 128.7 sanctions. Have you no shame?" he writes in a Monday email. "Let me answer the question. No. And let me answer your letter. No I will not dismiss the action."