Former Producer Sues Cumulus, WPRO's John DePetro For Sexual Harassment
August 13, 2012 at 3:57 PM (PT)
A producer at CUMULUS Talk WPRO-A-WEAN/PROVIDENCE has filed suit in RHODE ISLAND SUPERIOR COURT alleging sexual harassment by host JOHN DEPETRO, reports the PROVIDENCE JOURNAL. DIANA "DEE" DEQUATTRO filed the suit against CUMULUS, its predecessor in ownership CITADEL BROADCASTING, INC,, GM BARBARA HAYNES, Corporate Counsel NICOLE WALLER and DEPETRO.
In the complaint, DEQUATTRO said that on MAY 21st DEPETRO invited her to lunch and instead drove her to a house on a dead end street and insisted she come inside with him while he retrieved an item, and "while inside the house DEPETRO made sexual advances toward the Plaintiff. Plaintiff asked him to stop, and stated that what he was doing was inappropriate. After attempting to advance on Plaintiff again, DEPETRO apologized, stating that he could not help himself. DEPETRO had recently boasted to Plaintiff that he rented a house with certain other individuals where they would bring women and get together for sexual parties, and at that time Plaintiff realized that that was why he had brought her there. Plaintiff asked to be dropped back off at work, which DEPETRO did while continuing to apologize."
Later, DEQUATTRO alleged, DEPETRO, after apologizing again, repeated harassing her with photos on his iPAD of women "he was sexually attracted to" and an incident with a female body builder in the studio. And after being moved off the show and to a position as a web producer, DEQUATTRO said, DEPETRO asked her if he and another woman could have sex with her and her boyfriend. Finally, the two were involved in a dispute over credit for a story that had broken on his show about the local DUNKIN' DONUTS CENTER honoring tickets for a canceled 1979 WHO show for a concert this year.
DEQUATTRO said that complaints to HAYNES were not investigated by the station; she filed a Charge of Discrimination with the RHODE ISLAND COMMISSION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS on AUGUST 3rd, and discovered on AUGUST 6th that she had been locked out of the WPRO building and her e-mail. She also said that she received a warning from the Defendants not to speak to the media, and that WALLER threatened "to have unauthorized contact" with her despite her being represented by counsel.
DEPETRO's attorney TIM DODD said, "JOHN DEPETRO is completely innocent. He is not a party to any misconduct, nor to the allegations being made against him. JOHN expects to be completely exonerated of the false allegations made against him. The complaints being made are completely unsubstantiated. The allegations are patently false and we will not give them any credence by further discussing them."