Michael Rapaport claims his beef with Barstool Sports has only gotten worse since he filed a lawsuit against the company, claiming one of their staffers has been harassing him on a daily basis even after he sued them.
According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Rapaport is taking issue with Barstool brushing off the comments they made about him having herpes.
As The Blast first reported, on-air personalities Smitty, KFC and president Dave Portnoy filed court documents denying they defamed Rapaport with their countless comments about him and herpes. They argued any statements were simply insults and nothing more.
In the documents, Rapaport says his former employer “engaged in a prolonged public campaign to defame and disparage Mr. Rapaport. The campaign continued in full force even after the filing of the Complaint with Defendant Adam Smith [Smitty] essentially attacking, defaming and disparaging Mr. Rapaport on what seemed like a daily basis from November 20, 2018 forward, until, presumably, his attorneys advised him to stop.”
He says their argument that the herpes comments were opinion, and somehow had no clear meaning, is nonsense. Rapaport says they repeatedly made statements about him suffering from the STD and says the articles written make it appear as fact no opinion.
“To be clear,” the document states, “Barstool and its employee cannot be allowed to hide behind the notion that Barstool is merely a ‘satirical comedy publication which frequently engages in “trash-talking” and provocative discourse’ to somehow justify its malicious defamatory campaign against Mr. Rapaport.”
Rapaport is demanding his case move forward and the claims against Barstool Sports NOT be dismissed.
As The Blast first reported, Michael Rapaport sued Barstool Sports and on-air personalities Smitty, KFC and president Dave Portnoy claiming he’s still owed $375,000 that stems from a deal he made with the sports entertainment website for $600,000.
Rapaport had been working for Barstool for a short time before he was fired back in February after engaging in a public Twitter feud with many of the company’s top players. Rapaport went from fighting with employees to actually attacking Barstool fans, and El Presidente stepped in to lay down the law and fire the actor.
Shortly after his termination, Rapaport sent Barstool a cease and desist letter for continuing to sell merchandise with his face on it. He claims he’s still owed a percentage of all the merchandise sold with his image.
Along with the money, Rapaport claimed Barstool engaged in a “campaign to discredit” and embarrass him, including accusing him of having herpes. The actor wanted to make it clear in legal documents that he does not have herpes.
He sued for breach of contract and defamation.
In their motion to dismiss, filed last week, Barstool argued that Rapaport failed to provide any evidence in his lawsuit they defamed him. They say while he alleged they made various “unflattering statements about Rapaport, including calling him an “old crusty herpe,” referred to Rapaport as having a “herpes infested mouth” and described Rapaport as a “herpe having, race baiting, D-list actor,” they argue Rapaport has not proven they did so with actual malice.
Barstool says even Michael Rapaport’s complaint makes it clear that the references to herpes were an insult and mocking the actor. The company say when put in context on the barstoolsports.com website and internet social media applications, it is clear the statements were opinion.
They are demanding the claims for defamation be thrown out of court.
The case is ongoing.