SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris and members of her slate are fighting back against Matthew Modine and his slate’s threat of a “frivolous” lawsuit over her alleged use of guild resources, including “insider and highly confidential information,” to advance her candidacy — a claim she vehemently denies. Modine’s team even demanded that Carteris be removed from the ballot in the upcoming election.
In a letter to Modine and his team, Pamela Jeffrey, an attorney representing Carteris and her slate, wrote:
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“Our clients demand that you immediately cease and desist from using costly litigation at the expense of SAG-AFTRA and its members as a tool to advance your own personal political agenda,” wrote “If you do not publicly retract or disavow in writing the threat of a frivolous and unwarranted lawsuit and other demands, my clients have informed me that they will consider other appropriate action to protect the integrity and resources of SAG-AFTRA and its election processes, including legal action against you and other current and former board members for breach of your fiduciary duty.
“Our clients believe that you, and/or individuals with whom you are acting in concert or coordination, are once again attempting to interfere in SAG-AFTRA’s democratic process and elections by threatening or supporting the threat of baseless litigation against SAG-AFTRA if it does not remove Ms. Carteris from the election ballot for SAG-AFTRA national resident as a tactic to advance the candidacy of you and your supporters. We believe this latest threat comes in the form of a July 28, 2019, letter from attorney Robert A. Allen. That letter threatens a lawsuit against SAG-AFTRA unless Ms. Carteris is peremptorily removed from the ballot in the current election. Our clients note that this tactic follows a long-term pattern of conduct in which you and people working in concert and coordination with you have filed or supported the filing of frivolous lawsuit after frivolous lawsuit.
“As current and former fiduciaries to the Union by virtue of your service on its board(s), you owe a duty of loyalty to SAG-AFTRA and have an obligation to protect the Union and its membership. Violating these duties to further personal political ambitions and vendettas can be construed as a violation of your fiduciary duty.
“Our clients had hoped that the continued and repeated failure of your frivolous lawsuits would cause you to focus instead on making your case through the democratic process. This most recent threat to use a lawsuit to interfere in the elections and SAG-AFTRA’s democracy is the final straw.”
The letter was written on behalf of Carteris and her Unite for Strength running mates Rebecca Damon, Clyde Kusatsu, Liz Zazzi, Suzanne Burkhead, Samantha Mathis, Catherine Brown and Dan Navarro.
It was sent to Modine and his Membership First running mates Jodi Long, David Jolliffe, Pete Antico, Ed Asner, Joe d’Angerio, Debbie Evans, Marie Fink, Frances Fisher, Pamela Guest, Richard Hadfield, Linda Harcharic, Matt Kavanaugh, Diane Ladd, Esai Morales, Ron Ostrow, Patricia Richardson, Shaan Sharma, Martin Sheen and Jonathan Taylor Thomas.