Boston-area mayor Joe Curtatone is suing Barstool Sports, alleging one of the site’s employees posed as the Boston Globe columnist Kevin Cullen to get an interview.
In a Twitter statement, Curtatone, the mayor for Somerville, Massachusetts, wrote he is suing Barstool Sports and Kirk Minihine for the interview. “It’s a clear violation of Massachusetts General Law, which forbids audio recording a person without his/her consent, and you can’t obtain that consent through fraudulent means,” Minihane wrote. He added that he plans to donate any damages to a women’s shelter. Curtatone posted a link to the lawsuit, which states he “never received any request from Minihane for an interview” before Minihane posed as Cullen.
Sports site 12 Up explained that Curtatone and Barstool Sports’ founder Dave Portney “had a public Twitter battle” because Curtatone “criticized the Boston Bruins’ decision to partner with Barstool on rally towels,” and later, Curtatone wouldn’t give Barstool’s Minihane an interview.
Then, on June 6, Barstool’s Minihane published his interview with Curtatone, headlined, “Kirk Minihane AKA ‘Kevin Cullen from the Boston Globe’ interviews Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone.” The article reads in part:
“Now, like most craven politicians, Curtatone refused an interview with Kirk Minihane. He’d rather talk with spaghetti spine stenographers who will simply regurgitate his PC pablum. But when Minihane called and said he was from The Boston Globe… they dropped everything and scheduled an interview.”
In response to Curtatone’s tweeted statement, Portnoy wrote “what were the damages? You look like a bumbling idiot? Everybody already knows that.” Portnoy also noted Minihane wasn’t a Barstool employee at the time.
iMediaEthics has written to Curtatone’s lawyer; we’ve tweeted Barstool’s Portnoy and Minihane. We’ve also contacted the Globe to ask if it has contacted Barstool regarding the impersonation. The Globe‘s Cullen declined to comment.