Multimedia Platforms Worldwide, which bills itself as the "world's largest LGBTQ media publishing company, was dealt a major blow Friday afternoon in Broward Circuit Court, when the Hot Spots Media Group filed a 15 page, 7 count complaint against them for misappropriation of trade secrets, tortious interference, conversion of confidential business information, and breach of contract and fiduciary duties.
The lawsuit also names Bobby Blair, the CEO of Multimedia personally, along with one of his employees, the principle in the non-compete action, Scott Spar. The focus of the action involves Spar's alleged misdeeds in going to work for Blair while he was still under a non compete from HotSpots, and then converting for his own use proprietary account information to promote sales for Blair and his company.
The lawsuit represents a major blow for Multimedia, whose principles have been embroiled in management struggles for the past few months. Just last week, Peter Jackson, who had been first acting as the publisher of the Agenda, and then the president of MMPW's 'print division,' abruptly resigned, renouncing both his role as a member of the company's board of directors and its news operation.
"I have no further comment," he told SFGN. A week ago, however, Jackson in an internal memo to staffers had given them an ultimatum to "clear out their desks" if they could not accept not being paid.
"I need to know who is with us and who is not as the company struggles to meet its current financial obligations," Jackson wrote, adding that "my hope and intention as the president is to keep our brands alive during this storm."
Jackson's letter than explained that he needed to put into place an emergency operation plan to continue publishing the Company's magazine, Next, and it's newspaper, the Agenda. Both have continued distribution.
MMPW and its principles have been embroiled in controversy for months now, from coast to coast.
Last month, MMPW was the target of EEOC age discrimination complaints, when its west coast publication Frontiers Magazine, terminated one of its most tenured employees, Karen Ocamb, a distinguished lesbian writer, claiming the Magazine had to target 'millennials' and a younger demographic.
Blair vigorously defended MMPW's determinations, asserting there was no ageism or sexism, just a necessary reorganization of all practices that were implemented routinely as part of their acquisition.
Meanwhile, representing Peter Clark, and his company, HotSpots Media Group, is the law firm of George Castrataro. He is asking for emergency injunctive relief, demanding that Blair and Spar turn back over to them a vast amount of proprietary information that was inappropriately acquired and used, including customer lists, contracts, booking sheets, and price quotes.
"We also believe and can prove that Blair hired Spar to work for him and MMPW while he knew that Spar was inhibited by a legally enforceable non-compete contract," Castrataro told SFGN.
When reached by phone Blair had no comment.