A gay New York meteorologist who claims he was fired after someone sent nude webcam photos of him to his employer and mother is pleading for his job and accusing the sender of revenge porn.
Erick Adame, an Emmy-nominated meteorologist who has worked at Spectrum News NY1 since 2007, admitted on Instagram on Monday that he secretly appeared and performed on an adult video website for other men while employed on the TV channel. He said the actions were “100% consensual” from everyone involved, except for the incident in which someone took screenshots of him without his knowledge. He said he was not paid for his appearances and he apologized for participating.
But after his bosses received the screenshots, Adame was suspended and then fired last week, according to a subpoena request from the webcam company that his attorney filed in New York County Supreme Court on Monday. .
In his first interview since leaving Spectrum News, Adame told MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle on Tuesday night that while some people may have felt offended when they learned of his involvement with the site adult webcam show, he didn’t think what he did was wrong. .
“I make no unequivocal apologies for being HIV-positive and for being myself – for being an openly gay man,” he said.
Adame, 39, said he has never spoken at work about his involvement with the website, which is owned by Unit 4 Media Ltd. He also pointed to advice from the New York City Department of Health at the height of the coronavirus pandemic that encouraged New Yorkers in March 2020 to “virtually enjoy sex” through activities such as video dating, sexting and participating in discussion forums.
A Spectrum News source said company management had worked with Adame for months after the webcam incident and before he left. The source, who did not confirm whether Adame was fired, said Adame’s departure had nothing to do with his sexual orientation and argued that the company fosters an inclusive environment. The source said the situation was more complicated than it appears, but would not provide further details, citing privacy concerns.
According to the petition filed by Adame and his attorney, an anonymous user of the video site took nude screenshots of Adame and sent them to his employer and his mother in December, “with the intention of harassing him, to annoy or alarm him”.
The petition says the user did not have Adame’s permission to share the “intimate” images. After learning that the photos had been taken, Adame asked Unit 4 Media for more information about the user who shared them. However, even after the company indicated it could help identify the user, it declined to share the information without a subpoena, the document said.
Lawrence Walters, an attorney for the webcam company, said in a statement that it is company policy to comply with legally issued subpoenas and to provide relevant user data when required by law.
Walters wrote in an email, “Capture and dissemination of user content without consent violates our client’s terms of service and forum rules, which may result in offending accounts being suspended or banned.”
The subpoena request also asks the court to compel the company to share with Adame any documents or communications that could help identify the user. Adame accused the user of violating state revenge porn laws, though it’s unclear, and it depends on the outcome of the petition whether he could or would sue the user.
“I’m a victim whether it’s classified as revenge porn or not,” Adame said.
New York City Council member Erik Bottcher, who represents the district of Manhattan where Spectrum NY1 is located, seems to agree.
“I support Erick Adame, who is the victim of someone who tried to destroy his life by sending naked photos of him to his employer and his mother”, he tweeted. Bottcher included a link to the New York City Health Department’s safe sex and Covid-19 guidelines, which recommended New Yorkers “virtually enjoy sex” to help prevent the spread of the virus. coronavirus.
In his conversation with Ruhle, Adame acknowledged that as a television personality – someone for whom the “rules may be different” – he may have had an “error in judgement”. But he also said he felt like his employers had outdated expectations of him.
He wants his job back, he said.
“I didn’t commit a crime here,” he said. “What happened here is the reverse.”
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