Paradigm Sued By Former Agent Alleging Financial, Sexual Misconduct By CEO Sam Gores

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Paradigm Talent Agency has been sued in Los Angeles Superior Court by a former agent who was one of a reported 200-plus staff laid off after a March 20 video conference by founder and CEO Sam Gores, who while not named as a defendant is clearly a target of the suit.

Plaintiff Debbee Klein, a 23-year veteran representing television clients including producers and creators of hit shows including “Desperate Housewives,” “The Handmaids Tale” and “NCIS: Los Angeles,” alleges breach of oral contract, failure to pay wages due and owing, accounting, breach of implied good faith and fair dealing, and whistleblower retaliation.

The complaint seeks damages to be proven at trial, an order for a full accounting of all eligible package fee commissions to be provided to Klein, pre-judgement interest, costs and attorneys feels, and civil penalties of $10,000 per each violation alleged.

Accusations of financial and sexual misconduct against Gores are embedded within the complaint, information about which was apparently given to Klein by a former executive assistant to Gores who allegedly was terminated “abruptly” in January.

Klein accuses Gores of retaliating against her for taking allegations of state and federal violations to Paradigm management, her stated intention to report the violations to law enforcement agencies and regulators, including allegations he “forced his executive assistant to hire prostitutes to service him and others,” and directed her to pay for those services using Paradigm bank accounts.

Klein also alleges that she had an oral agreement with Gores to stay on at Paradigm after her previous contract expired in December. Among the allegations made by Klein was that Gores directed her to pay Paradigm $500,000 from her salary “so he could validate Paradigm’s income stream to its ‘bank’,” after which she would allegedly be repaid $1 million, the amount of the agreed-to salary.

“We have seen Ms. Klein’s complaint and it is littered with false, frivolous and scurrilous allegations, which, fortunately for her, are protected by the First Amendment, otherwise she would be facing a defamation suit,” Paradigm outside counsel Dale Kinsella told “Both Paradigm and Mr. Gores expect to be 100 percent vindicated, and our intention is to respond further in court filings,” Kinsella added. 

A Paradigm spokesperson was not immediately available for comment regarding the lawsuit.