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The feud between Michael Kassan and UTA over the MediaLink founder’s departure is intensifying, with Kassan suing the agency’s lawyer for defamation.

Kassan, in a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday, accuses attorney Bryan Freedman of trying to tarnish his reputation at the direction of UTA in a bid to prevent employees and clients from following him to his next venture.

“UTA has done everything in its power to attempt to destroy Kassan with the hope that while UTA does not have a contractual non-compete, it could create a non-compete by defamation,” states the complaint.

In a statement, Freedman said “facts are not defamation” and that Kassan’s “continuous baseless filings and statements are nothing more than an attempt to create a false media narrative and divert attention from his fraudulent activities.” UTA didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Kassan’s lawyer Sanford Michelman said in a statement that the complaint “represents Michael Kassan’s intention to hold Mr. Freedman responsible for his strategically malicious and defamatory comment.” He added, “To render a statement such as he did, illustrates the fact that all Mr Freedman and UTA are doing are trying to block Mr. Kassan from competing by hurting him in the press as alleged in Mr. Kassan’s demand to arbitrate.”

The filing of the lawsuit follows UTA last week withdrawing some claims against Kassan after it filed a complaint in court rather than in arbitration. Kassan brings claims for slander and libel.

In an arbitration action initiated by Kassan on March 12 against UTA that names chief executive Jeremy Zimmer, he claimed that UTA fraudulently induced him to agree to a sale of MediaLink “only to then walk back the very promises made” regarding what he would oversee at the agency and allowances for his special expenses budget. He resigned on March 6, preempting the agency terminating him the next day. In response, UTA accused Kassan of treating company money as a “personal slush fund.”

More to come.

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