8:35am PT by Eriq Gardner
Brad Grey Accuser's Attorney Seeks Out of Lawsuit Amid Email Authenticity Probe
Rovier Carrington, the aspiring entertainer who brought a lawsuit that alleges he was once raped by late Paramount chief Brad Grey and sexually exploited by former MTV chief Brian Graden, finds himself on the defensive over the authenticity of emails attached to his complaint. Now, Carrington's attorney Kevin Landau is seeking to withdraw from the case.
Carrington's complaint made shocking accusations. The plaintiff not only claims a rape in 2011 on Grey's part, but also how pressure was then exerted upon him to sign a nondisclosure agreement. Carrington says he was blacklisted in the entertainment industry because he refused to sign. Later, after developing a relationship with Graden, who helped launch the Logo Network, Carrington says he finally did agree to confidentiality and got a production deal. However, his show wasn't produced, and Carrington claims Graden took his concept for Finding Prince Charming. The complicated suit alleges $100 million in damages and asserts fraud against Viacom.
Grey's estate, Graden and Viacom are ready to bring motions to dismiss on what they see as a lawsuit with many faults, but first, there's an investigation underway after Graden's side made its own allegations that the case was predicated on fabricated documents. Graden's attorney Larry Stein noted discrepancies in emails, had a forensic expert say as much and also had one individual who had purportedly sent Carrington an email submit an affidavit stating no memory of sending such an email.
U.S. District Court Judge Katherine Failla, at a conference last July, warned Landau about the potential ramifications of submitting fabricated evidence. The judge told the attorney that it was within her power to not only dismiss the complaint, but also to refer the matter to the grievance committee at the Southern District of New York. Landau understood.
Since then, Carrington has had to turn over materials for further inspection.
Last week, Stein and attorneys for Viacom and the Grey estate told the judge that of 40 separate emails, only one was in native, original form; that the digital forensic experts couldn't access one of Carrington's accounts; and that Carrington hadn't handed over electronic devices used to send communications.
In turn, Landau noted that there was no conclusion whether emails were authentic or not, only that most had been forwards. He added that it had come to his attention that Carrington's email had been accessed by an unauthorized party a few weeks after the lawsuit had been brought, and that many of Carrington's emails with Graden had been deleted. Landau pointed to a supplemental declaration from his client that Graden had Carrington's log-in and password.
As Graden fights for further discovery and as Carrington attempts to explain away potentially suspicious omissions, Landau over the weekend suddenly brought a motion to withdraw from the case.
According to Landau's declaration, there's been a "breakdown in communication" between him and Carrington that has impaired the ability to represent him. The exact nature of this breakdown hasn't been revealed. Landau says that Carrington has advised him he has "other lawyers" lined up to represent him. Landau adds that he's expended over 400 hours of time representing Carrington and hasn't been paid yet for the work.
Carrington couldn't be reached for comment.
The judge has ordered Landau to appear with Carrington at a telephone conference Oct. 5.