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Lawsuit against Viacom accuses late Paramount CEO Brad Grey of rape; lawyer says suit is 'meritless'

Lawsuit against Viacom accuses late Paramount CEO Brad Grey of rape; lawyer says suit is 'meritless'
Rovier Carrington has sued Viacom, accusing late former Paramount CEO Brad Grey and former MTV executive Brian Graden of sexual assault. (Jason Kempin / Getty Images)

A man who says he's the great-grandson of "Three Stooges" actor Moe Howard accused the late former Paramount Pictures Chairman and Chief Executive Brad Grey of raping him and threatening to ruin his budding entertainment industry career.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in New York State Supreme Court, lawyers for Rovier Carrington, 29, said he was "blacklisted" from working with Paramount's parent company Viacom Inc. after he refused to sign a nondisclosure agreement following the alleged assault by Grey.

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In addition, the 32-page suit accused producer and former MTV Networks President of Programming Brian Graden of sexually assaulting Carrington.

"We take allegations of this sort seriously, and are reviewing the complaint," Viacom said in a statement.

Grey died in May 2017. His estate, which is named as a defendant in the complaint, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Graden's attorney Larry Stein, of law firm Russ August & Kabat, said the suit was meritless.

"This sensationalized and meritless lawsuit is particularly egregious as it attacks two respected executives, one of whom is an industry icon whose death prevents him from defending himself, and the other, who has had a long, sterling and unblemished career free of any implication of inappropriate behavior personally or professionally," Stein said in a statement.

"It is unfortunately too common for wannabes to hold on to their entitlement," Stein continued, "but uncommon for such claims to make headlines by use of hyperbole and baseless allegations of rape and conspiratorial extortionist conduct."

Carrington is seeking $100 million in compensatory and punitive damages, according to the document.

"Mr. Carrington has courageously come forward in a timely manner, with a pure heart and sturdy voice, to put his horror on display," said Carrington's New York-based lawyer Kevin Landau, in an emailed statement.

He declined to say what evidence would be used in the case.

Carrington's suit paints a picture of a young man pursuing a career as a producer and reality TV star, describing him as an "it boy" and "Hollywood royalty." The suit said he had been working on the Paramount studio lot in late 2010 on the production of a reality TV show pilot for MTV, and was also working on a dark comedy series.

The court filing alleges that after a dinner at the Polo Lounge in 2010, Grey started kissing Carrington in a car and told him "he would destroy any chance plaintiff had of building a career in the entertainment industry" if he did not have sex with him.

The suit says Carrington, feeling defeated, allowed Grey to perform oral sex on him. The complaint also says Grey raped Carrington in a hotel room in January 2011 during a Golden Globe Awards after-party at the Beverly Hilton.

Carrington said that Viacom human resources representatives contacted him several times that May and June, and that he was asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement but refused to do so. After that, he was not allowed back on the Paramount lot, the suit said.

According to the complaint, Graden contacted Carrington in 2014 through an online dating website. Graden agreed to produce his reality show. Graden had left MTV in 2009 and had become a producer.

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Carrington's lawyers said Graden pressured him into sex by promising to help advance his career.

"Graden indicated to Carrington that if he wished to move forward with his reality show, and come off Viacom's banned list, that he would be required to have sex with Graden," the suit said. "Carrington agreed, as having sex with Graden was now his only option if he wanted to work in the entertainment industry."

The suit also accuses Graden of drugging Carrington, sending him graphic sexual text messages and manipulating him for two years.

The complaint quotes a 2015 email exchange that Carrington's attorney said is indicative of the "fraud" and "coercion" allegedly used by Graden.

"You keep me happy and we'll do well together," Graden allegedly told Carrington. The email included in the lawsuit contained no sexual references.

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