“Dancing With The Stars” pros Maksim & Val Chmerkovskiy are suing their former employee, accusing him of stealing their dance studio clients.
According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Maks & Val’s company, DWM Dance Studios, filed suit against a man named Klajdi Kasemi.
The Chmerkovskiy brothers co-founded and operate DWM Dance Studios, along with fellow “Dancing With the Stars” pro Tony Dovolani. The studio is located in New York.
In the lawsuit, the company says Kasemi started working as an instructor with them in 2015. Per their deal, Kasemi was prohibited from giving dance lesson within a 10-miles of the studio. He was also not allowed to solicit clients away from DWM Dance Studios.
Maks & Val accuse him of breaking both rules and now they want him to pay up.
They claim his employment was terminated on December 22, 2018. He allegedly then started teaching at a competition studio nearby. Maks & Val also accuse him of soliciting multiple students from DWM.
The suit reads, “Upon information and belief, Kasemi has used DWM’s trade secrets in violation of his position of trust on behalf of DWM; has misappropriated these secrets for his own usage; and solicited DWM customers.”
The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages and attorney fees.
Celebrity lawyer, Matthew J. Blit, is representing DWM Studios in the case. He tells The Blast, “DWM invests a significant amount of time and money to develop its brand, obtain customers, and to meticulously train each and every staff member to be superior dance instructors. Breaching the agreement is detrimental to DWM’s continued success and violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. “
Maks & Val even attached photos of Kasemi teaching classes at the new studio. They appear to have hired someone to catch their ex-employee in the act.
Last year, Maksim and Val filed a similar lawsuit against another ex-employee, Gregory Hightower. They accused him of stealing their clients and breaching his contract. He denied the allegations. The case is still ongoing.