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CAA Sports Agent Says Colleague Threw Chair at Her, Called Her Racial Slur (Exclusive)

Stephanie Lopez details accusations against fired CAA agent Amit Naor to TheWrap

Junior sports agent Stephanie Lopez says she suffered “extreme verbal, emotional and sexual harassment” from colleague and industry veteran Amit Naor at top Hollywood agency CAA.

Naor was terminated in October 2017 after an almost three-month investigation, CAA said. Sports Business Journal first reported on the firing, though the story did not include the specific accusations that Lopez later detailed to TheWrap.

“It started with an incident of him throwing a chair at me and calling me a ‘wetback.’ That was the beginning of the treatment under Amit,” said Lopez, 28. “I was subjected to extreme verbal, emotional and sexual harassment from the get-go.”

Lopez said Naor, 51, threw the chair when they were on a work-related trip to Wimbledon in 2015 (one of Naor’s clients is pro tennis player Milos Raonic). The chair hit a wall and broke from the impact, she said.

One of her colleagues, former CAA agent Rick Montz, told TheWrap he arrived at the house where in the incident took place minutes after it happened and found Lopez shaken and crying. According to Montz, Lopez told him that Naor had flung a chair at her.

A spokesman for Naor declined to comment. A spokesman for CAA told TheWrap that the agency was able to verify some, but not all, of Lopez’s specific allegations about Naor, and that Naor was terminated as a result of the investigation.

Lopez joined CAA in 2013 and said that in the summer of 2017, she finally took her complaints to Steven Heumann, a sports executive at CAA, after Naor expressed a desire to have sex with her. She said that Heumann then relayed the claims to the agency’s human resources department.

Naor was fired in October, about two and a half months after the investigation began. Lopez went on paid leave this past April.

Sports Business Journal said that in a complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Lopez said that after coming forward, she was subject to “multiple incidents of retaliation” by Heumann. She declined to provide the EEOC complaint to TheWrap, but said the contents reported by the Journal were accurate.

The publication said that Lopez complained to the EEOC that Heumann “empowered my harasser to dictate every element of my employment and daily tasks.” The Journal said that Heumann later moved Lopez’s day-to-day supervision to a different tennis agent at CAA.

Monz filed a submission with the EEOC after being terminated by CAA in April saying that he suffered retaliation from Heumann and others at the agency after defending Lopez.

A spokesperson for CAA said the agency’s investigation determined that there was no retaliation.

Lopez said she spoke with Journal reporter Daniel Kaplan at length about her accusations but that her quotes and the specific accusations were removed during the editing process.

The online publication and the agency have a close relationship, two individuals familiar with the situation told TheWrap. Both specifically pointed to a friendship between CAA Sports co-president Howie Nuchow and the Journal’s executive editor, Abraham Madkour.

TheWrap reached out to Kaplan and Madkour for comment. Kaplan said he’d forward the request to his editors. The editors did not immediately respond to the request for comment. CAA declined to comment about Kaplan and Madkour.

Matt Donnelly contributed to this report.