Originally filed Tuesday, August 13, 2019 by RODNEY HOemail@example.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
A former Hot 107.9 on-air personality Feleg Abraham, who went by the on-air name of Shorty Mack, has filed a lawsuit alleging multiple instances of sexual harassment by her then-boss “Hurricane” Dave Smith.
Smith was let go from his job last week as vice president of programming and operations for Urban One Atlanta on the same day the lawsuit was filed in the state court of Fulton County against him and Urban One. On August 5, Smith told Kevin Ross of Radio Facts that he was fired over an unspecified “misunderstanding.”
Timothy Davies, Smith’s boss and an Urban One regional vice president, declined to comment last week about why Smith was dismissed.
But Urban One released this statement today attributed to Karen Wishart, evecutive Vice president and chief administrative officer for Urban One: “The allegations made by Feleg Abraham against Dave Smith, both former employees of Urban One, are unsettling. As a company founded by an African-American woman with a long history of empowering women in the workplace, Urban One takes these allegations very seriously. After Ms. Abraham left Urban One to take a new job, we were notified of her complaint and conducted a thorough, independent investigation. In light of the ongoing litigation, we cannot provide further comment on this matter.”
Abraham worked at Urban One’s Hot 107.9 as an on-air personality from December, 2016 until February 23, 2018.
The lawsuit alleges that on May 22, 2017, Smith trapped her in his office, groped her, took his penis out and demanded she perform oral sex on him. She suffered unspecified injuries escaping his grasp.
“As a result of Defendant Smith’s actions,” the lawsuit said, “Ms. Abraham suffered from insomnia, anxiety, weight loss, extreme fear of being with men in isolated situations, self-doubt, self loathing and many other infirmities.”
The lawsuit alleges that after this incident, his harassment “became more extreme, creating a hostile working environment.” He made “unwanted sexual comments about Ms. Abraham’s body and would often ask her when he would be allowed to see her naked.”
She quit on February 23, 2018 when she “realized nothing would change.”
According to the lawsuit, Abraham also learned that “Defendant Smith had a history of sexually harassing other Urban One female employees” and those seeking employment there. “Urban One knew or should have known of Defendant Smith’s sexually harassing behavior,” the lawsuit said.
Among the charges in the lawsuit include intentional infliction of emotional distress by Smith, negligent infliction of emotional distress by Urban One, negligent hiring, retention and supervision, assault and battery and false imprisonment.
Abraham now works as a mid-day host at Foxie 105 in Columbus, GA. She previously worked at Streetz 94.5.
Smith oversaw programming for Hot 107.9, Classix 102.9, Praise 102.5 and Majic 107.5/97.5 in Atlanta as well as stations in Raleigh, Charlotte and Richmond and syndication operations for Rickey Smiley and others.
He was operations manager for the stations and PD of Hot from 2009 to 2016 before he was promoted to vice president. He stayed as program director of Hot even after the promotion.
Smith released a statement regarding the lawsuit Tuesday afternoon: “This is an organized attempt by some former employees looking to capitalize on the #MeToo climate. I categorically deny these disgusting statements. I have no further comment.”
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.