Photo: Publicity photo of Shorty Mack (left); special from Hurricane Dave on right
Photo: Publicity photo of Shorty Mack (left); special from Hurricane Dave on right

“Hurricane” Dave Smith files defamation countersuit against Shorty Mack’s accusations of sexual harassment and assault

Originally posted Thursday, September 5, 2019 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

“Hurricane” Dave Smith, who ran Radio One Atlanta for several years until he was dismissed last month, has filed a countersuit against a former Hot 107.9 air personality who accused him of sexual assault and harassment.

In the lawsuit, filed September 5 in the State Court of Fulton County, he refuted and denied every single claim Feleg Abraham (who went by Shorty Mack on air) referenced in her original suit, which was filed in early August.

In Abraham’s lawsuit, Abraham claimed he had come on to her even before she was hired. She said he assaulted her at least twice, including a time in his office where he allegedly forced oral sex on her. She said he sexually harassed her numerous times from her time of employment December 12, 2016 until her resignation February 23, 2018.

In his countersuit, he accused Abraham of defamation, false light and malicious prosecution.

“There is no other way to say this except bluntly: the allegations against Dave Smith are 100% false,’ said his attorney James L. Walker Jr. in a press release. “Mr. Smith is an honorable husband, father, colleague and friend... falsely accusing someone of sexual harassment when it has not occurred is itself malicious and life-altering.”

He also said that Smith was “not fired for sexual harassing any employee(s), as will become clear as this case progresses.” He did not state why Smith was fired. 

In her lawsuit, she said while discussing possible employment after a concert, they walked to his office and he “abruptly and unexpectedly forced himself on Ms. Abraham and kissed her on the mouth. Ms. Abraham resisted the sexual advances of Defendant Smith.” In her suite, Smith said if she wanted a job, she would need to “get it popping,” which she understood to mean “have sex with Defendant Smith.” She said she began crying upon hearing his alleged “sex for hire proposition.” 

His version of their initial meeting at his office was far more innocuous. He said she was crying about the working conditions at Streetz 94.5, where she was employed at the time. He said he comforted her with “a tissue to dry her tears and some words of faith/encouragement.” He said he did not “make any romantic or sexual advances toward Abraham, make any unwanted or inappropriate physical contact with Abraham, make any suggestive or explicit comments to or around Abraham, or otherwise proposition Abraham in any way whatsoever.” 

In her lawsuit, she said he would compliment her looks, including her breasts,  her skin and her body. She also heard he had harassed and propositioned other female employees. On May 22, 2017, he allegedly assaulted her in his office, pushing her into a chair and forcing his penis into her mouth for about a minute before she could get away. She said as a result of his actions, she suffered “insomnia, anxiety, weight loss, extreme fear of being with men in isolated situations, self-doubt, self-loathing and many other infirmities.” 

Abraham, in her lawsuit, said his harassment after that attack became “more extreme, creating a hostile working environment.” She quit in February 2018 because “the workplace had become intolerable.”

In his lawsuit, he did not directly addressed the alleged May 22 incident besides denying it. He said he actually helped her get her new job at Foxie 105. in Columbus, where she currently works. 

Smith in his lawsuit said as a result of the publicity stemming from Abraham’s lawsuit, “Smith has sustained extreme humiliation, embarrassment, mental anguish and shame in front of his peers and the public at large.” He said in his lawsuit that he now suffers from insomnia, “lives in constant fear and anxiety” and “debilitating panic attacks that he treats with medicine and CBD products.” 

Abraham’s attorney Ed Buckley, in an email response, called Smith’s counterclaims “bombastic, ridiculous and utterly meritless.”

Smith was a successful executive at Radio One for several years and ran Hot 107.9, Majic 107.5/97.5, Classic 102.9 and Praise 102.5, among other stations. He was let go the same day as the lawsuit was filed. He was vice president of programming and operations for Radio One Atlanta at the time of his termination. He also oversaw radio operations in Charlotte, Raleigh and Richmond, Va. His lawsuit noted he was making $200,000 a year. 

About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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