A Los Angeles judge dismissed an extortion lawsuit filed by popular radio personality Eddie “Piolin” Sotelo against six former employees of his canceled Univision Radio show.
According to the L.A. Times, superior court judge Richard A. Stone dismissed Sotelo’s lawsuit, finding that the radio personality failed to prove that he could prove a solid case if it went to trial.
Stone also ruled that Sotelo may be liable to pay the legal costs of the defendants.
In a civil lawsuit filed in August, Sotelo claimed he was a victim of a shakedown by the six former employees – Tomas Fernandez, Samuel Heredia, Gerardo Palencia, Domingo Rodrigo Ochoa, Sergio Vera and Berta “Betty” Velasco – whom he alleged branded together to demand nearly $5 million from him or they would publicly accuse him of sexual harassment and workplace humiliation.
In his March 13 ruling, Stone wrote that the former staffers had produced “ample evidence” that they were considering filing a lawsuit against Sotelo.
Sotelo’s attorney, Jeffrey Spitz, vowed to appeal the judge’s decision, the L.A. Times reported.
“We are disappointed in the court’s ruling,” Spitz said in a statement. “Our appeal will be based, in part, on the fact that not all of the relevant evidence was considered by the court before making its decision. We are confident the defendants ultimately will be held accountable for their actions in seeking to extort our client.”
Sotelo’s long-running Spanish-language show, “Piolin por la Mañana,” was abruptly canceled by Univision without explanation in July. It was later reported that a lawyer for a former staffer had written a letter to Univision last April seeking to settle sexual harassment allegations.
The newspaper reported that a producer of the show, Alberto “Beto” Cortez, complained to the network that Sotelo had sexually harassed him over a three-year period. Sotelo has denied the claims.
He has since bounced back and is back on the air, with a morning show on SiriusXM satellite radio.