4:54pm PT by Ashley Cullins
Ex-CAA Agent Asks Court to Pause Sexual Assault Lawsuit
Ex-CAA agent Cameron Mitchell is asking the court to pause a sexual assault lawsuit against him, arguing that allowing it to proceed would violate his rights against self-incrimination and could subject him to "serious criminal exposure."
Demi Mann in November sued Mitchell for sexual battery, sexual harassment and intentional infliction of emotional distress, among other claims. She says he used his position as an agent to try to sleep with her and sexually assaulted her on multiple occasions.
CAA fired Mitchell right after Mann sued. The agency says after she filed her suit, it received new information about Mitchell that led to his departure, and it maintains that she was never a CAA client.
Mitchell's reps emphatically denied Mann's claims. On Feb. 2 he filed a cross-complaint against CAA, arguing he is indemnified by the agency because the litigation stems from his performance of his job duties.
In a motion filed Feb. 20 in L.A. County Superior Court, Mitchell asks that the matter, including any related arbitration, be stayed until "the threat of criminal prosecution is resolved."
His attorney Loyst Fletcher argues the language used in the civil complaint is identical to what would be alleged criminally. He also says Mann made additional allegations of criminal behavior in her discovery requests, which were attached as an exhibit to his filing. So Fletcher is asking the court to pause Mann's civil case until the criminal statute of limitations expires.
In addition to confirming his employment with CAA and the date they met, Mann asks Mitchell to admit that he was her agent, that he told her many successful actresses got their starts in Hollywood by sleeping with their agents, that he forced oral sex, that he drugged her drink and that CAA never required him to undergo sexual harassment prevention training.
Fletcher also filed a declaration from Mitchell's criminal defense attorney, Austin Dove, that says he'd advise his client to invoke the Fifth Amendment in response to any questions that concern potentially criminal conduct in the case. (Read the full filing and exhibits below.)
"A party's right to assert the Fifth Amendment prevents the court and/or other parties from taking advantage of the assertion, from using the assertion to obtain a tactical advantage, and prevents the party asserting the Fifth Amendment from being penalized in a civil lawsuit," writes Fletcher. "Compelling defendant Mitchell in this civil matter to proceed with discovery on the same factual allegations that could form the basis for serious criminal charges would certainly penalize him, as in the event he asserts his constitutional right to remain silent, he will be unable to defend his position."
Mann's attorney, Paul Philips, sent The Hollywood Reporter a statement Friday in response to the motion: "I've never seen anything quite like Mr. Mitchell's filing — I was shocked. The fact that he wants the Court to stop this case from proceeding to avoid what he calls 'criminal exposure' reveals that he's in deep fear of talking about the allegations my client is making against him. That said, I don't think it's unreasonable to conclude at this point that Ms. Mann has been telling the truth since day one. And while it takes a ton of heart and soul for a victim like Demi Mann to come forward and risk her career and her future by suing a major entertainment agent, it takes an equal amount of fear to cause someone to file a motion like this literally saying that he doesn't even want to admit or deny the accusations made. Mr. Mitchell is on the hot seat — there's no doubt about that."