Five years after snagging a majority stake in A3, Adam Bold is being accused of “a campaign of chaos” by the Agency’s CEO and president and being a coke addict, a “creeping” leach who created a toxic and hostile workplace, and a spendthrift who is steering “what remains of a once-great company into bankruptcy.”
“In an astonishing run of terror, Bold has squandered everything: A3 is in a state of chaos and dissolution as its agents jump off the sinking ship and flee to A3 competitors, or wait in shock and fear for the next shoe to drop,” declares the 10-claim fraud and breach of contract complaint from Robert Atterman and Brian Cho against Bold, A3 itself and Superbrands Capital “Remarkably, Bold has managed to alienate nearly every A3 employee, from its leadership down to its administrative staff, through a corrosive and toxic leadership style more emblematic of Nero than Bob Iger.”
Filed today in LA Superior Court, the complaint seeks a “temporary restraining order, a preliminary injunction, and a permanent injunction” to stop Bold from selling “A3 for parts and create a golden parachute for himself.” Along with a variety of damages, the duo want the courts to stop “Bold from disclosing any further confidential and trade secret information to A3’s competitors indefinitely.”
Over the past year, Bold has been in the process of selling a chunk of A3 to Gersh. A sale that Atterman and Cho say through corporate moves and more would leave them “empty-handed” and the 200 or so remaining A3 employees getting the axe. The deal for the Gersh Agency to acquire the unscripted and digital departments of A3 that is still pending and won’t go any faster now thanks to this legal action.
None withstanding dragging a certain curly haired fiddling Roman Emperor’s name into this mud, the suit goes on to allege: “The demise of A3 is directly attributable to Bold’s personality, leadership style, and deviant behavior, as he quickly became known around town and the A3 offices as an unhinged, out of control and overbearing narcissist who often appeared to be intoxicated or on drugs. Indeed, his wife’s divorce papers actually state that Bold has a history of cocaine addiction so bad that it caused a rupture in his sinuses.”
It adds: “His drug addiction was not Bold’s only problem. During his tenure at A3, Bold has sexually harassed nearly all of A3’s female employees, fired those he deemed unattractive, creeped out male and female employees with lewd remarks about female employees and his dating preferences, pitted the agents against each other, and acted in a generally crazed, unusual and unnerving manner at every turn. The result has been a series of threatened lawsuits and civil rights complaints by A3 employees alleging harassment and a hostile work environment resulting in confidential settlements and an exodus of agents and their clients.”
Bold did not respond to request for comment on the suit from Attermann and Cho. If and when he does, we will update this post.
On the other hand, unsurprisingly, multi-decade A3 vets Attermann and Cho’s attorney Bryan Freedman did have something to say about the suit his firm filed earlier in the day.
“Upon making it through the pandemic and getting beyond the unprecedented double strike, rather than honoring his legal commitments to A3’s partners, employees and clients, Adam Bold’s tortious actions and breaches of his fiduciary duty culminated in his secretly attempting to liquidate A3’s assets by unilaterally assigning agents’ contracts to other companies without anyone’s consent,” Freedman told Deadline Tuesday. “This lawsuit will hold him accountable,” the bare fisted lawyer added, noting a primary point is “to try and protect A3 Artists Agency’s employees and clients from the devastating effect” of Bold.
News of the action against Bold was first reported Tuesday by our sister publication Variety.