Ryan Kavanaugh ‘Shocked at Audacity’ of New Lawsuit, Denies Relativity Invested in Porn

Studio founder responds to former co-president Adam Fields’ fraud and neglect allegations

Last Updated: January 11, 2017 @ 10:15 PM

Relativity Media founder Ryan Kavanaugh has been sued for fraud and neglect by his former studio president Adam Fields — charges he adamantly denies, TheWrap has learned.

Dismissed from the company last September, Fields has accused Kavanaugh of misrepresenting finances, inventing a purpose to fire him after luring Dana Brunetti to run his production company and even entertain adult movie stars at their Beverly Hills offices, according to the Wednesday complaint. 

“Clearly he picked the wrong profession as, with his imagination, he should be writing fiction. We are shocked at the audacity of Mr. Fields. Clearly he will say and do anything,” Kavanaugh told TheWrap in a statement.

In Fields’ lengthy filing, he claimed that when he assumed his role in April 2016, the company resembled “the cantina scene in ‘Star Wars,'” meaning a raucous party atmosphere, more than a professional production company. 

The former executive also claimed that a digital venture Relativity had boasted about turned out to be a pornography outfit, and a photo shoot had been conducted at Relativity’s Beverly Hills headquarters after several models met with former Kevin Spacey producing partner Brunetti. 

“The site he refers to as ‘porn’ was part of a Relativity acquisition led by its then CMO Angela Courtin,” Kavanaugh responded to TheWrap. “Never any sort of X-rated or other explicit material.”

One insider TheWrap spoke with close to that particular deal denied that Courtin was involved. The project centered around a celebrity-focused website called Egotastic.com — which regularly features models, actresses and scantily clad social media stars.

Kavanaugh said the venture in question was led by former Relativity partner Colbeck Capital and had been approved by Relativity’s Board of Directors, of which he is still a member despite relinquishing day-to-day executive control of the operation in December.

Attorneys for Fields did not return TheWrap’s repeated requests for comment over the case.

Fields’ lawsuit goes on to say that Kavanaugh “knowingly misrepresented Relativity’s financial outlook,” and actively tried to sabotage his employment, eventually outright asking him to quit. Fields was fired five months after he took on the job, with breach of contract cited as cause.

The suit paints an icy picture of Brunetti, who never successfully mounted a production at the studio which emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy shortly after he joined it last winter.

According to the suit, Brunetti would freely bark insults at Fields, an executive of three decades who oversaw classics like “The Breakfast Club,” and threatened to “fucking crush” him during staff meetings.

Representatives for Brunetti did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Fields is seeking punitive damages to be determined by L.A. County Superior Court.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.