12:30pm PT by Eriq Gardner
Viacom Accused of Covering Up Alleged Brad Grey Rape in $100M Lawsuit
A man who says he's the great-grandson of Three Stooges star Moe Howard has brought a shocking lawsuit that accuses late Paramount chief Brad Grey of raping him. The complaint details extraordinary contact with high-level executives in the entertainment industry, alleges that a nondisclosure agreement was achieved through trickery and demands $100 million in damages. It was filed on Tuesday in New York.
Rovier Carrington says he was wealthy, young and handsome, and grew up among Hollywood's elite. He wanted to work in entertainment like those he socialized with, so in 2010, Carrington alleges he wrote, starred in and produced a pilot for a reality TV show titled The Life of a Trendsetter and released a sizzle reel on YouTube.
Having invested $200,000 of his own money, Carrington got an agent, manager, lawyers and a PR firm. He also says he began spending time on the Paramount lot and began working on a show titled Inheritance that he hoped would run on MTV, which, like Paramount, is owned by Viacom.
"Carrington had the pedigree of a star," states the complaint. "Identifying the same, Viacom courted Mr. Carrington with dignitaries of its own, having introduced him to Brad Grey, the then chairman and CEO of Paramount in December 2010."
Carrington says Grey invited him to a dinner that month and afterwards, Grey drove him back to his residence and parked his car. Then, the married executive "began kissing Carrington all over his face, neck and mouth," the complaint alleges.
"Stop," Carrington claims he said.
Grey allegedly became violent, slamming Carrington's face into the window and restraining him by his seatbelt.
"The abruptness of Grey's personality from dinner until that moment completely took [Carrington] off-guard and he did not know how to react," states the complaint. "Grey indicated to Carrington, that if he did not have sex with him, he would destroy any chance [he] had of building a career in the entertainment industry."
Grey allegedly pulled Carrington's pants down and performed oral sex on him. Carrington then says he attended the premiere of The Fighter at Grey's invitation and continued to work on the Paramount lot. In January 2011, he says he was invited to a Golden Globes afterparty at the Beverly Hilton. There, according to the complaint, Grey allegedly demanded Carrington meet him in a hotel room, where he allegedly demanded sex or Carrington would lose his affiliation with Paramount and Viacom.
"Carrington as expected, was conflated [sic]; crying, scared and did not want to go through with having sex," the complaint continues. "Grey demanded Carrington drink alcohol to make it easier, at which point he proceeded to pour the spirit down Carrington's throat, ripped off his clothes, and proceeded to anally rape him, without a condom."
After this alleged incident, Carrington says he was contacted by human resources from Viacom and asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Carrington was promised that if he signed, he would receive an envelope filled with money, according to the lawsuit. Carrington says he refused and he was not allowed back on the Paramount lot.
"However, what Mr. Carrington was unaware of at the time, was that his refusal to sign the NDA not only resulted in being blacklisted from Viacom, but extended throughout the entertainment industry," states the complaint.
A spokesperson for Viacom responded: "We take allegations of this sort seriously, and are reviewing the complaint." Bob Daly, a longtime friend of Grey's and former chairman of Warner Bros., says the suit "is so far past the pale of anything I have heard. This seems absurd. That's all I can say."
Grey, a longtime Hollywood talent manager before taking the reins of Paramount in 2005, ran the storied studio until he was ousted in February 2017. He died three months later of cancer at age 59.
After rebuffing Grey, Carrington says in the suit he was stone-walled by every producer and studio he approached. In 2014, the complaint continues, HBO expressed interest in Inheritance and his attorney began conversations with HBO programming president Michael Lombardo.
Then, an email allegedly came from Lombardo's assistant requesting contact "to discuss business doings with Brad Grey of Paramount before moving forward."
Around the same time, the lawsuit continues, Carrington came in contact with Brian Graden through a gay social media dating site. Graden once ran MTV and helped launch the Logo Network for Viacom. By the time of their interaction, Graden was no longer working at Viacom. Nevertheless, after being told about the alleged Viacom blacklisting, Graden is said to have suggested to Carrington that he cut off a relationship with another man and that his show would move forward. Graden also is said to have contacted Lombardo to put an end to a potential deal with HBO.
The complaint goes into detail about alleged sexual exploitation by Graden.
Carrington also alleges that in 2015, Graden had him sign a nondisclosure agreement and in conjunction with that contract, Carrington got a production deal for a reality show. "The contracts were mutually executed, whereupon Graden finally made a phone call to [Viacom controlling shareholder] Sumner Redstone, requesting that Carrington be released from his ban with Viacom," states the complaint.
Carrington is now suing Graden and the Brad Grey estate for rape and other sexual offenses.
Against Viacom and Paramount, Carrington asserts fraud in the inducement, asserting that he was deceived into the NDA when there was never any intention of producing any of his shows. The plaintiff also attacks various misrepresentations through this claim.
"Viacom's blacklisting of [Carrington] only ceased once [he] agreed to have sex with Graden, and obey him, for months, under his manipulation and control, until finally Graden directly called Sumner Redstone, and [Carrington] was purportedly removed from Viacom's blacklist," states the complaint. "However, once a controversy arose between Graden and [Carrington], [he] was placed back on Viacom's blacklist, and his ability to work within the entertainment industry was once again placed in peril. As demonstrated by the foregoing, Viacom fosters a corporate culture of systemic deviancy, that its executives, producers, and even chairman were aware of, and in some cases, actively participated in."
Carrington is demanding $50 million in actual and compensatory damages and another $50 million in exemplary and punitive damages.
Graden's attorney Larry Stein tells THR he doesn't typically comment on pending litigation, but, given the nature of this complaint, he's making an exception.
"This sensationalized and meritless lawsuit is particularly egregious as it attacks two respected executives, one of whom is an industry icon whose death prevents him from defending himself, and the other, who has had a long, sterling and unblemished career free of any implication of inappropriate behavior personally or professionally," says Stein. "The complaint, which reads more like fiction than fact, seems to be based more upon Mr. Carrington's entitled belief that he is 'Hollywood royalty' with a 'pedigree of a star' because he claims his great grandfather was one of the Three Stooges, than on facts. It is unfortunately too common for wannabes to hold on to their entitlement, but uncommon for such claims to make headlines by use of hyperbole and baseless allegations of rape and conspiratorial extortionist conduct. The complaint ends just as it started, wildly untethered to reality, seeking damages in the hundreds of millions of dollars. We are confident that Mr. Graden will be fully vindicated and Mr. Carrington will be exposed for what and who he truly is."
May 2, 5:05 p.m. Updated with a statement from Brian Graden's attorney.