NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess) APA is being sued by a former agent who claims she was retaliated against for reporting she was routinely harassed by colleagues and assaulted by a client.
The anonymous agent says APA had a “sexually abusive environment” and she was threatened with being fired if she reported a sexual assault by a client to police. She is suing APA, CEO Jim Gosnell, head of music Josh Humiston, exec Paul Santana, and client Michael Hammond.
According to the lawsuit, the woman was sent obscene tests from Humiston including “If you fuck me, I’ll convince [CEO] Jim [Gosnell] to pay you more money,” one that called her a “c—,” and another said, “I’m going to get you fired bitch.”
The woman claims the harassment began almost immediately after she was hired in 2015 and was fired in 2018 in retaliation for not engaging in sex acts with executives who propositioned her. She claims she was also fired for reporting the harassment to Human Resources.
“The fact that Humiston (and others at APA) felt brazen enough to put their bad behavior in writing is reflective of how toxic, tolerant and protective of APA’s culture of sexual and racial discrimination is,” the suit claims.
“Plaintiff was incessantly subjected to sexual advances, crude and obscene comments, and retaliation, not at the hands of underlings at APA, but by its most senior apex management,” attorney Ben Meisalas of Geragos & Geragos says in the complaint. “The men in power at APA were allowed to prey upon usually much younger female subordinates, aided and abetted by APA’s Director of Human Resources and General Counsel, both females.”
An APA representative provided CelebrityAccess with the following statement:
APA has not seen the complaint. However, we heard many of these same claims months ago from the terminated employee who we believe filed the complaint, took the claims extremely seriously, hired independent investigators including a retired judge to look into them, and determined that not only are they false but that the person (a former terminated employee) raising them had fabricated email and text messages in order to shake the agency down. APA refused to pay the money and months ago sued the former employee in arbitration for extortion and defamation. We believe she is now retaliating against APA and its agents through this frivolous public complaint in which she hides her identity. We are confident that this former employee, now on her fourth attorney, will not succeed with her scheme of extortion. We intend to take all appropriate legal action against her and her counsel.
Jane Doe says she worked as Gosnell’s assistant for approximately two years and was forced to deal with moodiness and anger. On one occasion Gosnell allegedly “threw a trash can filled with trash and a glass at [her] and called her a ‘c—‘.” She says her complaints to HR “were met with excuses, indifference or opaque warnings that if she continued to complain about such behavior, she would not advance at APA.” She says that Gosnell eventually promoted her to agent, grudgingly, but made her workspace the kitchen.
Doe says in the lawsuit that the head of HR had a 15-year romantic relationship with Gosnell and was told “boys will be boys” and, if she couldn’t handle it, she “Wasn’t cut out for Agency life.”
The lawsuit (embedded below) includes several alleged text messages sent to her from Humiston, two of the more publishable ones being “If you f*** me, I’ll convince [Gosnell] to pay you more money” and “Your body is so hot, I’ve never seen it in a bikini. [Y]ou should come over to my pool.”
She says APA filed an arbitration claim against her “claiming that her reporting of APA’s abusive conduct constituted harassment of the agency.”
Doe v APA by on Scribd