Investigator Michael Fisten Claims Journalist Julie K. Brown Breached a Collaborative Agreement After He Was Allegedly Cut Out of Lucrative Book and Television Deals; Media Briefing Scheduled December 3
MIAMI, Dec. 02, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Attorneys with Wolfe Law Miami announced today that they have filed a claim in arbitration court against award-winning journalist Julie K. Brown, who exposed Jeffrey Epstein’s multiple crimes, including numerous sex offenses, through a series of investigative news reports first published in The Miami Herald in 2018. The lawsuit claims Brown worked jointly with Michael Fisten, a licensed private investigator who spent more than a decade investigating sex crimes and other criminal allegations brought against Epstein. Fisten claims Brown violated their collaborative agreement by not acknowledging his substantial contributions to her news reports and not sharing the proceeds from lucrative book and television deals.
“Brown holds her herself out to the public as the person who investigated and uncovered Epstein and his crimes, falsely taking public credit for Fisten’s 10 years of work,” said lawyer Richard C. Wolfe who represents Fisten. “She has received numerous awards, which she would have not received, but for the contributions of Fisten. Brown proclaims herself as the person who ‘brought down Jeffrey Epstein,’ which if called upon will be highly disputed by attorneys, investigators, and prosecutors who have and are still working this Epstein case.”
Wolfe added members of the press are invited to a media briefing with Fisten on Thursday, December 3 at 10:00 a.m. at Wolfe Law Miami, 175 SW 7th St., Penthouse 2410, Miami, FL 33130.
The lawsuit stated Fisten collected vast information about Epstein’s crimes and civil actions for attorney Brad Edwards who represented nearly 50 of Epstein’s victims. Attorneys disclosed Brown and Fisten entered into a collaboration agreement to share information for news coverage and to shop a book deal and share the proceeds.
The claim affirmed that between 2019 and 2020, Brown and Fisten exchanged information set forth in more than 800 text messages and 110 emails containing more than 50 documents (assembled by Fisten), which is directly used in the book. Fisten claims he provided Brown with 372 exhibits, 300 photographs, 162 pages of his notes, his 26-page book proposal, 41 pages of his personal notes, including his proprietary information about the sex slavery ring, Epstein’s probation violations, details about prominent celebrities, businessmen, political leaders, as well as other Epstein associates.
“Brown then negotiated to sell rights to the jointly created work to HBO,” Wolfe said. “Initially, she lied to Fisten claiming all of this money would be paid to her employer, The Miami Herald. Brown then admitted that she was licensing the rights to HBO for a filmed project based upon their book to be directed by Adam McKay. Brown advised Fisten that she also wanted him to benefit from the HBO project, but later lied to him claiming that her employer, The Miami Herald, sold the rights for the story to HBO, and she too was cut out of the deal. Later through sources, we learned that the HBO film is based on the book and that Julie [Brown] received an advance, which she did not share with Fisten along with a portion of an advance payment from Harper Collins.”
Wolfe said Fisten has asked the arbitration tribunal handing the case to award Fisten more than $750,000 in damages and grant injunctive relief in his favor to restrain and prevent any further infringement of Fisten’s property.
“Brown has caused and continues to cause irreparable injury to Fisten as result of her and her licensees’ copyright infringement upon his creations by not properly crediting him for his contributions as co-author of the work,” Wolfe said. “Such harm cannot be remedied by money damages alone. Brown will not be harmed by accurately acknowledging the Plaintiff as the co-author of the work. Thus, an immediate injunction should be issued because there is minimal harm to Brown, but the harm to Fisten is irreparable.”
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