- The suit by fellow Democrats-owned company comes at a time when Bharara is reportedly being considered for a senior position in the Biden administration.
Preet Bharara, the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, who was fired by President Donald Trump in 2017, has been named on Dec 3, 2020, in a legal suit by the producers of the podcast series “Words Matter” for allegedly stiffing them out of more than $2 million.
According to the legal suit, Bharara, who has been running a media outfit with his brother Vinit “Vinnie” Bharara called Cafe Studios, that focuses on law and justice content, is getting a lesson in legalese.
Accused by producers of the series — hosted by President Clinton’s former press secretary Joe Lockhart and Katie Barlow, a Beltway attorney — the suit claims that the Bharara brothers racked up $115,720 in production costs as they churned out eight episodes from July to September 2020 that were then streamed on Cafe’s site, according to the suit’s court document.
According to documents Words Matter Media sent to American Kahani, the suit claims that on top of refusing to foot WMM’s bill for producing the shows as agreed in a written contract, the Bharara brothers have refused to fork over at least $1.75 million in past and future advertising revenues as agreed, as well as at least $250,000 in cash payments from premium subscribers that’s owed.
“Despite its failure to pay any of the production costs and expenses … Cafe Studios collected revenue and fees from listeners to the Words Matter Podcast and has continued to do so long after it indicated its refusal to participate in the production of any more episodes,” according to the suit filed Tuesday in New York state court.
On Aug. 3, Preet Bharara — who has a podcast of his own on Cafe Studios called “Stay Tuned with Preet” — gave the new series a plug on Twitter, saying, “We are excited to welcome @WMM_Podcast to the @cafedotcom family!”
Guests on the show have included former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Rep. Hakeem Jefferies (D-NY) and Jen Psaki, who this week was named President-elect Joe Biden’s press secretary.
Every episode hit the Top 25 on Apple’s podcast charts, according to the suit by Words Matter Media.
The suit comes amid reports that Biden is considering Preet Bharara to be the SEC’s new chairman.
Vinit Bharara — best known for co-founding Diapers.com and selling its parent company Quidsi to Amazon in 2010 for more than $500 million — went on to found the social-media firm Some Spider in 2014. The latter produces podcasts including Scary Mommy, Fatherly and The Dad.
The Bharara brothers are squaring off against Words Matter Media Chief Executive Adam Levine, who is the former head of public affairs for TPG Capital, the giant buyout firm run by billionaire David Bonderman.
Words Matter Media is a digital media and entertainment company that produces the podcast “Words Matter,” that analyzes recent events in government, politics and journalism.
Launched in September 2019, “Words Matter” is no longer listed as among the Café Studios podcasts.
Bharara didn’t respond to emails from American Kahani seeking comment.
Words Matter Media Chief Executive Adam Levine emailed American Kahani stating that “because this is an ongoing legal matter, we have no comment beyond the lawsuit itself”.
Anu Ghosh immigrated to the U.S. from India in 1999. Back in India she was a journalist for the Times of India in Pune for 8 years and a graduate from the Symbiosis Institute of Journalism and Communication. In the U.S., she obtained her Masters and PhD. in Communications from The Ohio State University. Go Buckeyes! She has been involved in education for the last 15 years, as a professor at Oglethorpe University and then Georgia State University. She currently teaches Special Education at Oak Grove Elementary. She is also a mom to two precocious girls ages 11 and 6.