Radio personality Eddie “Piolín” Sotelo filed a lawsuit today against six former Univision employees and their Los Angeles attorneys, alleging civil extortion and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The lawsuit claims the defendants “attempted to extort $4.9 million from plaintiff under the threat of publicly embarrassing plaintiff and damaging his reputation by the disclosure of false and misleading allegations.”
The suit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court in Santa Monica, names Domingo Rodrigo Ochoa, formerly manager of Piolín’s show; ex-producers Samuel Heredia, Sergio Vera and Tomás Alejandro Fernández; ex-delay operator Gerardo Palencia; and former reporter Bertha Velasco. All are represented by the law offices of Taylor & Ring in Los Angeles, with attorneys Richard R. Clayton and John C. Taylor also named in the suit. All six ex-employees worked at one point on Sotelo’s successful radio show but were terminated or laid off from Univision between 2008 and 2011.
The suit does not name Univision Radio, nor does it name Alberto “Beto” Cortez, the former Univision employee who last July accused Sotelo of “Physically, sexually and emotionally” harassing him for three years. The airing of those accusations roughly coincided with Univision canceling Sotelo’s popular show.
One week after the accusations surfaced, Sotelo issued a statement stating they were untrue. Sotelo claims that Univision did not renew Cortez's contract after some work performance issues surfaced and that his former colleague "was soliciting many of our co-workers to join him in asserting fictitious allegations and filing a complaint against me."
Subsequently, on Aug. 13, Sotelo announced he would launch his own channel on SiriusXM, which will include his own daily show, “El Show de Piolín.” That announcement, Sotelo says in the suit, “helped galvanize the extortion conspiracy by the six ex-employee defendants.” On Aug.16, the suit claims, the six ex-employees sent Sotelo a letter, via his attorney, alleging claims similar to those made by Cortez. The defendants, states the claim, later said they “were willing to take their allegations ‘to the grave’ in exchange for a monetary settlement.” Otherwise, states the claim, they threatened to file “complaints.”
Billboard reached out for comment from Taylor & Ring, but did not recieve comment back by press time.