A3 Agency Chairman Adam Bold Accused of Sexual Misconduct, Drug Abuse and Fraud in Lawsuit Filed by CEO and President

Robert Atterman and Brian Cho say Bold effectively destroyed the company while acting like a “creep” and “sex pest”

Adam Bold in 2019
Adam Bold in 2019, photo via Getty Images

In a new lawsuit filed Tuesday, the CEO and president of A3 Artists Agency accused chairman Adam Bold of effectively destroying the company under what they call “an astonishing run of terror” and then “secretly” trying to sell it for parts to rival Gersh.

The three bought the company together in 2018 with Bold coming aboard as the majority partner. And the suit, filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court by Robbert Atterman and Brian Cho, doesn’t just allege financial misconduct and fraud. It also alleges misconduct that includes open drug abuse and widespread sexual harassment that, according to the suit, gave him a reputation as a “creep” and “sex pest” among employees.

Bold didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap. But in a statement provided to Variety, he dismissed the lawsuit as “a shake down and pure extortion,” adding “all of the allegations about drug use and sexual misconduct are completely false and I have evidence to prove it.” He also said that the attorney representing Cho and Atterman has a “personal vendetta” against him and the company.

According to the suit, the company had to make several “confidential settlements” and deal with “threatened lawsuits and civil rights complaints” related to Bold’s conduct.

Declaring that he “squandered everything,” it says the company “is in a state of chaos and dissolution” and is a “sinking ship” amid an exodus of employees, a state of affairs the suit says is “directly attributable to Bold’s personality, leadership style, and deviant behavior.”

Bold, the suit says, “became known” as “an unhinged, out-of-control and overbearing narcissist” who “appeared” to be high at work. It cites as evidence Bold’s divorce, which the suit claims alleged a history of cocaine addiction, and says that employees often complained about his demeanor. The suit also accuses him of being high on cocaine while giving an address at an employee retreat.

In addition, the suit says Bold “creeped out” male and female employees alike with “lewd remarks about female employees” and inappropriate commentary about his dating life.

As for the business side of things, the suit says Bold ignored and sidelined company leadership as he spent money at a profligate rate and that “realizing that he had doomed the company,” Bold secretly negotiated with Gersh for a deal that would benefit only himself while leaving Atterman and Cho “empty-handed.”

“It has become increasingly clear that Bold intends to siphon the proceeds of the A3 sale to himself,” the suit says.

Bold is able to do this, the suit alleges, because Bold strongarmed Cho and Atterman into accepting changes to their contracts in May 2023, by threatening to fire them and to cease providing funding to A3. The pair had been assured that Bold would not sell the company for less than $60 million, but they “recently discovered” when Bold made those assurance, he was already secretly holding sale talks for far less.

The suit accuses Bold of fraud in the inducement, negligent misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract. It seeks a temporary restraining order against Bold to prevent him from selling the company, and recission of the existing agreements between Cho and Atterman and the company, citing that fraud and misrepresentation as well as duress.

The lawsuit seeks punitive damages, compensatory damages, pre-judgment interest and repayment of court costs for each count of the lawsuit, in amounts to be determined by the court. Read it here.

Atterman, Cho and Bold acquired A3 — formerly known as Abrams Artists Agency — in 2018 when the company’s founder, powerhouse agent Harry Abrams, retired.

Bold previously founded the investment management company The Mutual Fund Store, which he sold in 2016, and cofounded Grandma’s House Entertainment in 2013.

Prior to the purchase, Atterman spent 30 years at Abrams, rising to become COO in 2015, while Cho spent 19 years at the company before being named CFO.


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