Tyler Perry Fires Back At $10M Lawsuit

Entertainment | Camille Travis | 06/19/2015 | 10:00 AM EDT

Perry pushes back against plaintiff's sexual harassment claims

Tyler Perry is defending his name and his studio against a $10 million lawsuit filed by a former employee who claims he was fired after denying the sexual advances of a superior at Tyler Perry Studios.

The lawsuit filed last month in Atlanta stems from an October 2014 incident in which Joshua Sole was arrested and later fired for barricading himself inside a room at the studio for more than four hours. He claims his only purpose was to have a face-to-face conversation with Perry about a "hostile" work environment, that allegedly included sexual harassment at the hands of Brett Hendrix (the supervisor in question).

Perry says the man disengaged the power in the building to disable the alarms and surveillance equipment. In the end, the famed director requested a restraining order against Sole and asked that he undergo psychological evaluation and treatment.

Perry also demanded Sole pay $100,000 as a result of the ordeal and was met with a $10 million lawsuit from Sole for sexual harassment, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, libel and more.

According to The Jasmine Brand, Perry has fired back at the lawsuit, claiming Hendrix was never an employee of Tyler Perry Studios. Thus, they cannot be held accountable for his alleged actions.

From the site:

"[...] On June 16th, Perry fired back at the former employee’s lawsuit stating that the supervisor Brett was never an employee of Tyler Perry Studios and therefore he cannot sue them for his alleged actions.

Further, the director says that his firing was not due to discriminatory or retaliation but rather the decision was made for legitimate reasons. He says that Sole cannot prove that any willful misconduct or fraud was committed by him and says there is no such evidence because it didn’t happen.

Perry also says that the post he made on Facebook is covered under the first amendment and he cannot be slapped with millions in damages for speaking his opinion about Sole. He also claims that he never mentioned Sole by name in his post and therefore he has no claim."

The report goes on to state that Tyler Perry Studios stands by its policies on sexual harassment. As for the claims of emotional distress, Perry takes no responsibility for Sole's mental state.

He is asking a judge to dismiss the lawsuit.

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(Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

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