Michael Rapaport is calling foul on his former partner Barstool Sports, and he’s filed a lawsuit over it.
In a suit filed in federal court in New York on Tuesday, “I Am Rapaport” podcaster has taken Barstool Sports Inc., Barstool founder David Portnoy, and personalities Adam Smith, Kevin Clancy and Eric Nathan to task, saying that he is owed money from his brief business relationship with Barstool, and that Rapaport was defamed by multiple statements saying he has herpes.
According to the suit, in 2017 Rapaport and Barstool entered into an agreement in which BSI would “host, market and oversee sales” for Rapaport’s podcast “I Am Rapaport.” The suit goes on to say that BSI agreed that Rapaport would deliver a daily radio show for Barstool on SiriusXM, with BSI agreeing to pay Rapaport $600K for his videos and podcasts and $375,000 for “an in-development daily radio show” on Barstool’s SiriusXM channel.
However, the suit alleges, when Barstool’s SiriusXM channel launched in January 2018, BSI “refused to include Mr. Rapaport’s daily radio show on its lineup and failed to pay Mr. Rapaport the $375,000 it had agreed to.”
The suit also says that shortly after Rapaport joined BSI, Barstool employees and personalities “began a systematic campaign to publicly and privately discredit, disparage and undermine Mr. Rapaport’s relationship with BSI as well as his credibility as an actor and performer.”
That campaign, the suit alleges, included a blog post written by Smith declaring Rapaport a “Fraudulent Sack of Sh–” and a tweet from Clancy referring to Rapaport as “a creepy herpes riddled failure.”
According to the suit, as a as a result of the sabotage campaign, Portnoy publicly terminated Rapaport “without cause or justification” in February 2018, and Barstool refused to pay Rapaport the balance of the guaranteed payments due under the Talent Agreement.
On top of it all, according to the complaint, following Rapaport’s termination, Smith and others, “upped the ante and took their public campaign to defame and disparage Mr. Rapaport to an entirely new level” among by other methods, repeatedly and publicly stating that Rapaport “suffered from the sexually transmitted disease, herpes. These statements were made with actual malice and with a reckless disregard for the truth.”
The suit adds that Barstool also began selling T-shirts depicting Rapaport with a clown nose and a herpes sore beneath his lower lip.
On the monetary front, the suit says that, of the $600,000 guaranteed under the Talent Agreement, only $200,000 has been paid so far. The suit also says that Barstool has failed to pay 60 percent of the net merchandise revenue as called for in the Talent Agreement.
TheWrap has reached out to Barstool for comment on the suit, which alleges breach of contract and defamation per se, and seeks unspecified damages.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.