Update: Viacom has released an official statement to IndieWire about the lawsuit against the company: “We take allegations of this sort seriously, and are reviewing the complaint.”
Earlier: Rovier Carrington, who says he is the great-grandson of “Three Stooges” star Moe Howard, has filed a $100 million lawsuit against Viacom, late Paramount Pictures CEO Brad Grey, and former MTV executive Brian Graden. The court documents accuse Grey of raping Carrington, and claim Graden engaged in aggravated sexual abuse, stole Carrington’s idea for a gay reality dating show, and destroyed his career. Carrington seeks $50 million in actual and compensatory damages, and another $50 million in exemplary and punitive damages.
According to the lawsuit, Grey was driving Carrington home from a business dinner and said he would kill Carrington’s potential entertainment career if he did not have sex with him. He allegedly pulled Carrington’s pants down and performed oral sex on him.
Another incident occurred in January 2011. Carrington had been working on the Paramount lot at the time and was invited to a Golden Globes afterparty at the Beverly Hilton. The lawsuit says Grey invited Carrington to his hotel room and demanded Carrington have sex with him or else Grey would strip the man of his Paramount and Viacom affiliation. Grey allegedly raped Carrington without a condom.
Following the alleged rape, Carrington says he was contacted by the Viacom human resources department and asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement. The lawsuit states that the company promised money in return for Carrington’s signature. Carrington did not sign the NDA and alleges he was blacklisted from Viacom and the larger entertainment industry as a result. He says he then began a sexual relationship with Graden because Graden agreed he’d help him return to Viacom.
Carrington was trying to get off Viacom’s banned list and launch a gay reality dating show at the time, and he viewed having sex with Graden as his only option to returning to the entertainment industry. A representative for Graden did not respond to IndieWire‘s request for comment.
Attorney Kevin A. Landau, who represents Carrington, sent IndieWire this statement:
It appears influential elements of our society have enjoyed appetites far beyond what the law and morality condone. As a constituency, we have collectively bore witness to a variety of examples where women have been the subject of a man’s depraved dominance and apathetic will. Such deviancy both through one’s professional position or contrived sexual deeds has also plagued several young men in an industry where their aggressors’ and manipulators’ entertainment is derived from repugnant acts they have conferred upon their victims.
Mr. Carrington has courageously come forward in a timely manner, with a pure heart and sturdy voice, to put his horror on display. He hopes this may signal to others to fear not – for strength is manifest through action, not complacency. Our humanity is on the precipice of a new time, whereby those once committed to the ditches have demanded the open road. Justice shall and will prevail.
Grey served as chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures from 2005 to 2017. Graden is the former president of programming at MTV, VH1, CMT, and Logo. He left MTV Networks in late 2009.
IndieWire has reached out to Paramount for further comment.