Bob Lefsetz’s connection to the #MeToo movement just got a little zanier, with a lawyer for Republic Records’ former boss Charlie Walk sending Bob a threatening letter for publishing several emails from women who wrote to the author of the Lefsetz Letter with their own accounts of harassment from Walk.
The threatening letter came a week after Lefsetz published several emails he had received from women who accused Walk of sexual misconduct and just a day after he published allegations against another music executive (who we won’t name) made by a female accuser who said she was drugged and assaulted 15 years ago.
The lawyer, Thomas Clare, called out Bob for failing to “contact Mr. Walk for comment prior to publication of your blog post,” which we’ve criticized Bob for before — giving an accused person, no matter how vile the alleged behavior, a chance to respond isn’t just basic publishing, it’s common decency.
But, as lawyers tend to do, Clare then took his threat to the extreme, demanding Lefsetz “immediately retract and remove all posts referring or relating to these allegations against Mr. Walk,” including “all references to Ms. Coopersmith’s Open Letter, and all comments and submissions posted in response to these posts.”
We know all this because Bob published the letter from Clare in its entirety, as well as the response letter from his own lawyer Howard King telling Clare to look up the first entry in the Bill of Rights and to spend whatever time he has left pounding sand.
Walk’s attempt to intimidate Lefsetz clearly backfired and actually does greater damage to Walk. Unlike the allegations Bob published against the unnamed accusers, Charlie Walk is a public figure and the burden of proof for libel is much higher. I’m no lawyer, but Bob seems within his first amendment rights on this one.
Of course there is another layer to all of this — Walk’s attorney might be able to establish that Lefsetz has a pattern of reckless behavior stemming from the email he blasted out earlier this week regarding the aforementioned unproven allegations from the 15-year-old incident.
Sound complicated? If you want to learn more, here’s a THR story from two days ago that lays out the drama, or you can search your inbox and look for the email titled “Re-Charlie Walk Demand Letter” from Lefsetz. Don’t have it? Email me at Dave@ampthemag.com and I’ll forward it to you.