Actor Michael Rapaport is suing media outlet Barstool Sports, where he once hosted a podcast, for firing him — and then claiming he had herpes.
When Rapaport, 48, was canned in February, Barstool’s president David Portnoy said it was due to the comedian’s tweet calling listeners “losers in life,” TMZ reported.
But Rapaport’s Manhattan federal court lawsuit, filed Tuesday, claims Barstool started in with him well before that.
As far back as November 2017, one of Barstool’s bloggers wrote a post titled, “Michael Rapaport is Fraudulent Sack of S----,” the lawsuit said. Then, a few days before his firing, another Barstool writer tweeted that Rapaport was “a creepy herpes ridden failure,” the lawsuit said.
Rapaport also complains that the company began selling T-shirts of him in a clown nose with a sore under his mouth after he was fired.
His lawsuit says Barstool’s Portnoy announced the sale of the T-shirts with a tweet that said: “Finally some Rapaport gear people will buy.”
The tweet “was done with actual malice in an effort to convey that Mr. Rapaport suffered from herpes and to harm Mr. Rapaport’s reputation,” the suit claims.
Rapaport, whose TV appearances include “Boston Public,” “Friends” and “Prison Break,” says Barstool’s employees went after him “not only to harm Mr Rapaport but also to generate ‘traffic’ and publicity” for their website.
He also claims the company stiffed him out of $375,000.
He is suing for breach on contract and defamation and seeking damages in an amount to be determined by a jury at trial.
Portnoy didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
This story originally appeared in the New York Post.