“Criminal Minds” star A.J. Cook is taking her former manager to task, suing him for failing to tell her and other female clients about sexual misconduct allegations against him.
Cook says in her lawsuit that David Guillod committed fraud when he didn’t tell his clients about the accusations made against him by other women.
Guillod’s attorney, Thomas Ferlauto, dismissed her complaint, calling it a “frivolous lawsuit” in a statement sent to USA TODAY. Ferlauto added the suit cynically attempts to “piggyback” on the #MeToo movement in order to avoid paying commissions she owes.
But Cook’s attorney is returning fire.
“No one wants to have their good name or career tethered to someone that is accused of multiple sexual assaults,” Michael J. Saltz told USA TODAY Friday. “That is why everyone had separated themselves from Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Kevin Spacey, and the like prior to any charges being filed.
“The difference here is that Mr. Guillod and Primary Wave (the talent agency where he previously served as CEO) had a legal duty to disclose potentially harmful information about themselves to their clients so that their clients could avoid the negative consequences of such an association,” Saltz continued. “They unlawfully took away Ms. Cook’s right to control and protect her brand by concealing the truth about their fidelity.”
One of the accusers mentioned in the suit is actress Jessica Barth (of “Ted”), whom Guillod represented at his previous company. She accused him of drugging and sexually assaulting her in 2012 but stopped pursuing charges after she says he threatened to sue her. Along the way, Barth says she learned other women had similar stories of being sexually assaulted by him while incapacitated, including one of his former assistants.
Guillod resigned as CEO of Primary Wave Entertainment in November 2017 following Barth’s allegation.
In his statement, Saltz said, “Mr. Guillod’s public statements that the previous claims of sexual assault and rape were unfounded is essentially the same as calling his victims liars. In saying so, he has likely defamed them and reset the statute of limitations should any of them wish to file suit.”
Saltz argued that by making those statements, he’s violated any non-disclosure or non-disparagement language in any settlements with those victims.
“Therefore, his victims should now be able to openly testify in this matter about their ordeal and the foundation of Mr. Guillod’s illegal and inexcusable conduct,” he wrote.
Cook’s lawsuit also accuses Guillod of going against her wishes and hiring lawyer Neil Meyer, who has also been accused of sexual misconduct, to negotiate her contract renewal, and paying him at double the rate she was charged under her previous deal.
All in all, Saltz argued, “Mr. Guillod’s failure to disclose to his clients as a fiduciary the serious and career-ending accusations levied against him by multiple victims means that he procured and kept his clients through fraud. The law does not allow anyone, including Primary Wave and Mr. Guillod, to profit from defrauding others and will otherwise force them to give back their clients’ earnings.”
USA TODAY has also requested comment from Primary Wave Entertainment.