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Attorney Charged With Sex Crimes Sues MGM for Wrongful Termination

Variety logo Variety 6/2/2017 Gene Maddaus
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An entertainment lawyer filed a suit on Wednesday against MGM Studios, accusing the company of firing him based on false allegations that he is a pedophile.

Benjamin Adams was arrested last year and later charged with having sex with a 14-year-old boy. Adams has pleaded not guilty and the case is pending.

The day after he was arrested, Adams says that met with Human Resources and his supervisor and assured them that the allegations were baseless. Adams says he was twice assured that he would be able to keep his job.

However, a week later, a local CBS affiliate broke the news of Adams’ arrest. A few hours later, Adams received an email informing him that he was fired.

“Based on their own admission, Defendants terminated Adams because of the false allegations in the police report,” the suit states. “Defendants claim they conducted their own investigation and determined that Adams was a pedophile. However, whatever ‘investigation’ Defendants claim they conducted would clearly be grossly inadequate under the circumstances…”

At the time, MGM issued a statement claiming that Adams was never on the MGM payroll and instead worked for a production company affiliated with MGM. Much of Adams’ complaint is concerned with establishing that he in fact was an employee of MGM. He states that he worked in the MGM offices, carried an MGM employee badge, and used an MGM email address.

The suit also describes the regimented life of a production attorney on an MGM show:

“MGM Studios had extremely tight control over Adams’ work, there was absolutely zero autonomy,” the suit states. “Adams’ emails were proofread by his supervisors; he was told exactly what to say, when to say it, and to whom he could (or could not) say it. Adams did not have the authority to make a single decision on his own, even when it came to correcting typos in the MGM Studios’ form agreements (which he was required to use).”

MGM did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Update: Marvin Putnam, an attorney for MGM, issued the following response:

“Mr. Adams was terminated by one of our affiliates last year after breaching various company protocols. There is no merit to any of his allegations, including the claim MGM somehow ‘defamed’ him by discussing his pending criminal charges for sexual assault on a child.”

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