NY1 host Pat Kiernan’s talent agent allegedly told the brother of fellow anchor Roma Torre — who is suing the network for gender and age discrimination — to drop her case because “Pat’s the star” here, according to new federal court papers.
The latest filing comes in response to Kiernan and agent Adam Leibner’s effort to block Torre and four other female reporters from obtaining the morning news anchor’s contract and salary information.
The agent, who works with United Talent Agency, has negotiated Kiernan’s contracts and previously represented Torre’s sibling, Adam Friedman.
“In March 2020, I spoke to Mr. Leibner and he said to me: ‘Tell your f–king sister to drop her stupid lawsuit,’” Friedman wrote in a declaration. “At any other shop in town they would have dropped those bitches so fast it would make your head spin.”
Leibner allegedly added, “Pat’s the star” at NY1, implying that Torre is not, Friedman wrote. The Manhattan federal court filing claims the agent has “bad-mouthed Ms. Torre within the industry.”
Leibner denied making the disparaging comments.
“It is simply and totally untrue that I made any comment like this,” he told The Post.
“It’s regrettable that someone would make this up, and the fact they’d wait nine months to make this bogus allegation should raise even more questions about its credibility.”
In June 2019, veteran reporters Torre, Kristen Shaughnessy, Jeanine Ramirez, Vivian Lee and Amanda Farinacci sued the network’s parent company Charter Communications, alleging they were sidelined for younger women and older male talent, including Kiernan.
“Charter refused to compensate Ms. Torre equitably relative to Mr. Kiernan, despite the fact that they are both daily weekday anchors and Ms. Torre has several years more tenure than Mr. Kiernan at NY1,” wrote attorney David Gottlieb in the latest filing, arguing that obtaining Kiernan’s salary and contract is critical to proving the women’s claims.
Since dropping the bombshell lawsuit, the reporters say Charter has retaliated against them by refusing to renew contracts that have expired and excluding them from Kiernan’s podcast, “Crosstown,” which features interviews with NY1’s senior reporters, according to the latest filing.
“None of the plaintiffs has been asked to appear as expert journalist guests despite being among the most seasoned journalists in New York,” wrote Gottlieb.
A spokesperson for Charter declined to comment.