Former PBS talk show host Tavis Smiley has lost a bid to throw out the network’s lawsuit, which accuses him of violating his contract by having sex with his subordinates.
The news comes along with a report conducted by an external investigator hired by PBS, which reveals more details about the sexual misconduct accusations against Smiley.
In recently unsealed documents, which can be found here, former employees open up about the imbalance of power and pressure they felt to engage in sexual activity with Smiley.
Several women admit to consensual relations with Smiley but stated that the power differences were unsettling. One former employee claimed she visited Smiley’s home, where he answered the door without pants on and later invited her to have a threesome with another woman, who was reportedly seen naked and frightened in Smiley’s bed.
Another woman claimed that during a business trip, the talk show host asked why she was “playing so hard to get.” And one woman claimed that in 2000, Smiley grabbed her behind and later purposely pressed his penis against her butt.
Smiley has spoken out about the lawsuit, sharing to Facebook, “A weak case you play in the press, a strong case you play out in a court of law. I look forward to my day in court February 10, which I have finally been granted, after 2 years of fighting.”
With Smiley’s bid thrown out, things are expected to move forward with a trial scheduled for February 10.