1:25pm PT by Ashley Cullins
Charlie Walk's Lawyers Threaten Music Blogger Over Sexual Misconduct Allegations
Music executive Charlie Walk is demanding a retraction of a well-known industry blogger's posts accusing him of sexual misconduct, according to a letter obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.
Last week, Bob Lefsetz published a post on his website suggesting Walk should "get bounced" from his role as a judge on Fox reality series The Four and linked to an open letter to the exec written by Tristan Coopersmith, who is accusing him of sexual misconduct. He also included the accounts of two women that claimed Walk had behaved inappropriately toward them in his Lefsetz Letter, a music industry email newsletter. The claims were widely republished by national news media. Lefsetz did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Walk left the Fox series after the accusations surfaced, but he maintains that before the allegations were reported he was the victim of an extortion scheme.
Walk's attorney Thomas Clare in a letter Tuesday tells Lefsetz that the statements were not only false but also were published with a reckless disregard for the truth, setting the stage for a potential defamation claim.
"It was especially reckless that, contrary to well-established journalistic standards and basic considerations of fairness, you did not even bother to contact Mr. Walk before publishing these false and damaging allegations and validating them with your own imprimatur," writes Clare. "Surely your readers would have been glad to know what has really been taking place, including a criminal report to the authorities."
The attorney then explains that a man named Tom Gilligan had been sending "menacing" text messages and voicemails to Walk, threatening to "weaponize the #MeToo movement" against him unless he met his demands.
"The scheme involved increasingly erratic text messages and voicemails accusing Mr. Walk of somehow affecting Gilligan’s relationship with Jon Bon Jovi and threatening to leverage the #MeToo movement to damage Mr. Walk, if Mr. Walk did not act promptly to repair this disturbed individual’s supposed relationship with Jon Bon Jovi," writes Clare.
Walk reported the conduct to the New York District Attorney's Office, and later updated his report to include Coopersmith's open letter.
Through Clare, Walk is demanding Lefsetz retract and remove all posts concerning the allegations and that he retain all documents and communications related to the posts.