Michael Kassan Sues UTA Attorney Bryan Freedman For Defamation


The feud between Michael Kassan and UTA over the MediaLink founder’s departure is intensifying, with Kassan suing the agency’s lawyer for defamation.

Kassan, in a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday, accuses attorney Bryan Freedman of trying to tarnish his reputation at the direction of UTA in a bid to prevent employees and clients from following him to his next venture.

“UTA has done everything in its power to attempt to destroy Kassan with the hope that while UTA does not have a contractual non-compete, it could create a non-compete by defamation,” states the complaint, which seeks at least $125 million.

In a statement, Freedman said “facts are not defamation” and that Kassan’s “continuous baseless filings and statements are nothing more than an attempt to create a false media narrative and divert attention from his fraudulent activities.” UTA didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Kassan’s lawyer Sanford Michelman said in a statement that the complaint “represents Michael Kassan’s intention to hold Mr. Freedman responsible for his strategically malicious and defamatory comment.” He added, “To render a statement such as he did, illustrates the fact that all Mr Freedman and UTA are doing are trying to block Mr. Kassan from competing by hurting him in the press as alleged in Mr. Kassan’s demand to arbitrate.”

The filing of the lawsuit follows UTA last week withdrawing some claims against Kassan after it filed a complaint in court rather than in arbitration. Kassan sent Freedman a letter threatening sanctions if he didn’t dismiss the lawsuit.

Kassan’s complaint, which brings claims for libel and slander, centers on statements from Freedman to Deadline in which he accused the Medialink founder of being a “pathological liar.”

“This statement was made as if it was relaying a fact,” the complaint states. “This statement by Freedman was malicious and intentional.”

Kassan says Freedman, who’s allegedly acting as a “mouthpiece” for UTA, made the claim in a broader effort to punish him for resigning his position from MediaLink and electing to compete. Whether Kassan must abide by the noncompete clause in his contract is among the primary issues in litigation between the two sides.

In an arbitration action initiated by Kassan on March 12 against UTA that names chief executive Jeremy Zimmer, he claimed that UTA fraudulently induced him to agree to a sale of MediaLink “only to then walk back the very promises made” regarding what he would oversee at the agency and allowances for his special expenses budget. He resigned on March 6, preempting the agency terminating him the next day. In response, UTA accused Kassan of treating company money as a “personal slush fund.”


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