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Yet Another Sexual Harassment Lawsuit!

One might think that by ceasing operations, Cinefamily’s sexual harassment lawsuits would stop.

One would be wrong.

In November 2017, months after closing their doors, Cinefamily was named as a defendant in yet another lawsuit. (Hadrian Belove was also named as a defendant.)

Remember that back in 2014, Cinefamily was sued by a former staffer alleging discrimination, sexual harassment, assault and battery, and various wage and hour violations. (The suit was covered in the press.) In early 2015, according to court records, the parties settled. The plaintiff’s attorney provided no details, citing a confidentiality agreement, but told the press “Everybody was reasonably unhappy, but they agreed to [the settlement]. Everybody felt equally about how the terms and conditions came out.”

Mere months after settling the suit, the former staffer sued Cinefamily and Belove a second time, alleging the fresh settlement agreement had already been breached. This time, the complaint also alleged the intentional infliction of emotional distress. A knowledgeable insider told CinefamilyAccountability (CA) the second suit stemmed from allegedly derogatory comments Belove made about the ex-staffer to a prospective employer. In early 2016 the second suit was also settled.

In late 2017, Cinefamily was once more a named defendant as the former staffer filed a third suit over these issues, again alleging violations of the settlement agreement, and attempting to revive charges from the earlier suits.

It may be the case that Dan Harkham, on behalf of Cinefamily, attempted to evade this lawsuit. In any event, the plaintiff sought—and was granted—permission to legally serve the California Secretary of State on behalf of Cinefamily. (According to the Secretary of State, the court may grant such substituted service when the plaintiff has made a reasonably diligent attempt at serving the defendant, but has been unsuccessful.)

This third lawsuit appears to be winding down. A hearing remains on the books for next month, but the suit seems to have ended in terms mostly favorable to Cinefamily and Belove.

It is not clear if or how the end of the sexual harassment lawsuit against Cinefamily affects Fairfax Cinema. Earlier this year, a Cinefamily/Fairfax Cinema staffer claimed the rebranded entity would be open by summer or fall. No one from Cinefamily/Fairfax Cinema has provided an updated timeline. Nor have any of the principals addressed the many Cinefamily problems that continue to dog them.