*Tyler Perry’s legal drama with a former employee included another twist as the employee is suing the filmmaker for $10 million.
TheJasmineBrand.com, reports that Joshua Sole filed his lawsuit against Perry, Tyler Perry Studios and his supervisor Brett Hendrix in May. The suit, the site notes, involves accusations that the entertainment mogul allowed sexual harassment by Hendrix while Sole was employed as a production assistant with Tyler Perry Studios.
The employee stated that he started working at the Studios in August 2014. It was during this time Sole claimed that Hendrix would inappropriately touch him, call him “baby,” tell him he missed him and offer him drugs in anticipation of sexual favors. As a result, Sole labeled Hendrix’s actions as unwarranted and resisted him.
Sole goes on to accuse Hendrix of sending him texts that pertained to a sexual nature and asking him to stay with him at his home. After Sole complained about the unwanted sexual advances, the suit stated that he ended up losing his seniority, being suspended from his employment, somehow arrested for no reason and eventually fired. The retaliation against Sole caused him to suffer mental anguish and loss of income, Sole claims.
News of Sole’s lawsuit comes amid a lawsuit Perry filed to demand a restraining order against Sole after the ex-employee allegedly stalked the entertainment mogul by disabling the alarms and security equipment at the studio and climbing through the ceiling panels as he barricaded himself in Tyler Perry Studios office s in October. A police report on the incident referenced claims from employees that Sole refused to leave the studio without having a conversation with Perry.
Responding to Perry’s lawsuit, Sole’s attorney denied his client had ever harassed the entertainer and claimed that Sole was wrongfully accused and never trespassed or broke into the studios. In addition, Sole said he only wanted to speak to Perry about employment related issues.
In his lawsuit, Sole alludes to the October incident, saying that Perry ruined his reputation by labeling him as “mentally distrusted” in a post on Facebook following the incident. In addition to the sexual harassment claims, Sole’s lawsuit accuses Perry, his company and Hendrix of creating a hostile work environment, and retaliating when he complained about the situation as well as intentional infliction of emotional distress and batter.
In all, Sole is demanding $ 10 million dollars in damages.
On Tuesday (June 16), Perry responded in kind to Sole’s lawsuit as he put him on blast, saying that Hendrix was never an employee of Tyler Perry Studios. In light of that, Perry says that Sole can’t sue them for Hendrix’s alleged actions.
Adding to this are claims from Perry, who pointed out that Sole’s firing was not due to discriminatory or retaliation. Instead, he stated the decision fire Sole was made for legitimate reasons. TheJasmineBrand reports that Perry’s claims continued with him saying that Sole cannot prove that he committed any willful misconduct or fraud and there is no such evidence of this because it didn’t happen.
As for the Facebook post, Perry countered Sole with a mention that the first amendment covers his post, which he feels cannot be slapped with millions in damages for speaking his opinion about his former employee. On top of that, Perry claims he never mentioned Sole by name in his post which means Sole does not have a legitimate claim against him.
Perry also went to bat for Tyler Perry Studios in his response as he outlined that the company maintains and enforces policies on sexual harassment.
Overall, Perry expressed that Sole’s lawsuit is nonsense in light of Hendrix’s actions being consented to and wanted by Sole. The mogul also shot down Sole’s claims of suffering emotional distress, saying Sole has not suffered any physical or emotional harm due to him whatsoever.