LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Live Nation's Irving Azoff has come to the defense of billionaire Ted Forstmann, the chairman and CEO of IMG Worldwide, Inc. and the senior partner of Forstmann, Little & Co, who is facing a lawsuit which alleges, among other things, that he engaged in sports betting on IMG clients such as tennis star Kevin Federer
The lawsuit, filed by James Agate in Los Angeles in October, hits Forstmann with numerous allegations, including diverting IMG funds to subsidize a multi-million gambling habit, making racist remarks, breach of contract in which Forstmann failed to steer business Agate's way and allegedly enjoining Agate to help Forstmann procure prostitutes.
The suit also alleges that Forstmann placed bets against several of IMG's sports clients, including Tiger Woods and tennis star Kevin Federer. A lawyer repping Forstmann has since noted issued a statement to Business Insider, noting that Forstmann doesn't directly represent any sports clients and that IMG's sports division was only responsible for 5% of the company's overall business.
Azoff in an open letter published by the Daily Beast came to the defense of Forstmann, describing Agate's allegations as "not only false but preposterous."
In the letter, Azoff describes his own negative perception of Agate and was effusive in his praise of Forstmann, recognizing his philanthropic efforts which included, which include contributions of more than 50 million for education and the personal adoption of two South African children.
Azoff also takes "litigation privilege" which he says allows a lawyer to make virtually any claim, spurious or otherwise in a legal filing while being protected from defamation lawsuits. According to Azoff, the lawsuit is little more than a "thinly veiled attempt to get Teddy to pay Agate a large sum of money." – Ian Courtney