Al­co­holics Anony­mous sues to re­cover orig­i­nal man­u­script

Metro USA (New York) - - News -

Scan­dal-plagued Fox News hit with more law­suits in U.S. court

Fox News was hit with new sex­ual ha­rass­ment and dis­crim­i­na­tion law­suits on Mon­day, adding to the cat­a­log of com­plaints that has rat­tled the U.S. ca­ble news network and its cor­po­rate par­ent 21st Cen­tury Fox Inc.

New York City lawyer Dou­glas Wig­dor filed law­suits in fed­eral court in Man­hat­tan on be­half of Kath­leen Lee, a Fox News Ra­dio shift ed­i­tor who says she was sex­u­ally ha­rassed and sub­jected to “un­ceas­ing re­tal­i­a­tion” for com­plain­ing, and Naima Far­row, who main­tains she was fired from her job as an ac­counts payable co­or­di­na­tor af­ter telling su­per­vi­sors she was preg­nant.

In a third case in the same court, Vidya Mann, a Fox News ac­counts re­ceiv­able spe­cial­ist, said she was taken on as a tem­po­rary em­ployee but passed over for per­ma­nent jobs in fa­vor of white co­work­ers.

A spokes­woman at Fox News said the com­pany be­lieves the suits are without merit, not­ing that the com­pany took prompt ac­tion and takes all com­plaints of dis­crim­i­na­tion se­ri­ously.

The new le­gal claims come as Fox News is al­ready bat­tling a se­ries of law­suits that led to the res­ig­na­tions of for­mer chief ex­ec­u­tive Roger Ailes, who died last week, star an­chor Bill O’Reilly and network co-pres­i­dent Bill Shine.

Wig­dor said he was also rep­re­sent­ing an uniden­ti­fied black in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy em­ployee who was sub­jected to racially in­sen­si­tive re­marks by Bob Beckel, an on-air host who was fired last week, days af­ter the worker com­plained. The orig­i­nal man­u­script that be­came the ba­sis for Al­co­holics Anony­mous is the sub­ject of a new law­suit by the or­ga­ni­za­tion, which wants to re­claim it be­fore it can be auc­tioned next month.

Ac­cord­ing to a com­plaint filed in New York on Mon­day, the work­ing draft for AA’s ba­sic text, known as the Big Book and de­scrib­ing the fa­mous 12-step pro­gram to help peo­ple stop drink­ing and stay sober, is sched­uled to be auc­tioned on June 8 by Pro­files in His­tory in Cal­abasas, Cal­i­for­nia.

But the plain­tiff Al­co­holics Anony­mous World Ser­vices said the seller, Ken Roberts, had no right to con­sign the man­u­script be­cause it had been gifted to AA in 1979, though be­cause of the “ex­treme neg­li­gence” of oth­ers was never turned over.

AA said it learned about the gift in 2007, three months af­ter Roberts bought the man­u­script for $992,000 at Sotheby’s, and sued af­ter he re­fused its de­mand to turn over the man­u­script rather than sell it.

Pro­files in His­tory has es­ti­mated that the man­u­script could fetch $2 mil­lion to $3 mil­lion.

The law­suit filed in a state court in Man­hat­tan names the auc­tion house, Roberts and Que­stroyal Fine Art, a New York gallery that dis­played the man­u­script this month, as de­fen­dants.

“The man­u­script is an orig­i­nal, his­tor­i­cal doc­u­ment of unique im­por­tance to AAWS, and un­de­ni­ably is a crit­i­cal piece of its his­tory,” and the de­fen­dants “are wrong­fully de­tain­ing the man­u­script for their own pe­cu­niary gain,” the com­plaint said.

Roberts and a spokes­woman for Pro­files in His­tory did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to re­quests for com­ment. Que­stroyal de­clined to com­ment.

The Big Book, also known as “Al­co­holics Anony­mous,” was writ­ten mainly by AA co-founder Wil­liam Wil­son, bet­ter known as “Bill W.”

First pub­lished in 1939, it is in its fourth edi­tion and has sold more than 30 mil­lion copies, ac­cord­ing to AA’s web­site. The group has more than 2.1 mil­lion in­di­vid­ual mem­bers.

AA said Bill W.’s widow in­her­ited the orig­i­nal man­u­script af­ter his 1971 death and gifted it to Barry Leach in 1978, who the fol­low­ing year gifted it back to AA upon his death, which oc­curred in 1985.


Al­co­holics Anony­mous was founded by Bill Wil­son and Dr. Bob Smith in June 1935 in Akron, Ohio.

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