Former LA Times editor Andres Martinez's new lawsuit is a sad story of betrayal that should convince any journalist never to date a publicist, unless she can somehow find one who is not crafty and constantly scheming to leverage the relationship. Martinez left his job editing the editorial page amid scandal. He tried to have film producer Brian Grazer guest edit his section even though his girlfriend Kelly Mullens was flacking for Grazer. Dirty and stupid and unethical, right? Well, hold one one second: Martinez says in his suit that Mullens promised him she had recused herself from working with Grazer, a client of her firm, at least on this one project. This turned out to be an awful awful lie. Writes Matt Belloni at the Hollywood Reporter:
...when the date of the issue drew near, a draft press release was circulated with Mullens' name on it and Martinez later discovered that Mullens had "concealed her presence from Plaintiff during a conference discussing the section." ...Martinez... now says Mullens caused him irreparable harm by "having his professional reputation damaged, by his constructive discharge from The Los Angeles Times, and by the emotional distress and suffering that has resulted."
Martinez can't pin everything on the flack, however, since he should have known from the start that pimping a client of his girlfriend was going to get him in trouble, no matter how hard (and futilely) he tried to ethically cleanse the situation by bringing in other editors and making the girlfriend promise not to work on this one particular project. In other words, he was asking for it.
Mullens' attorneys, meanwhile, claim Martinez's suit is retaliation for a restraining order filed for "unstable behavior, threats, and harassment." In other words, they're not denying anything, just changing the subject. Total flack behavior, right there.