Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone sued Barstool Sports and contributor Kirk Minihane today for an interview about the Barstool/Bruins towel controversy he claims Minihane conducted without his permission - while pretending to be the Globe's Kevin Cullen.
In the suit, filed in Middlesex Superior Court, Curtatone says this violates the Massachusetts wiretap law, which requires a person's consent to record them over the phone.
Curtatone says Minihane to get all Minihanish after Curtatone criticized the Bruins for handing out rally towels printed up by Barstool Sports, which has a reputation for crass misogyny. Curtatone tweeted on May 29:
As a fairly rabid sports fan one of the more regrettable things I've seen is the attempt to disguise misogyny, racism & general right wing lunacy under a "sports" heading. Our sports teams & local sports fans need to push back to stress that's not us.
In response, Curtatone charges, Barstool founder David Portnoy called him "a professional criminal" and said his family "rape, extort, stab and arson [sic]" people."
Then, Curtatone continues, Minihane tried to interview him about the whole thing, but Curtatone said no, so Minihane began trying to get an interview by pretending to be the Globe's Kevin Cullen, which Curtatone says worked, on June 6:
Minihane went so far as to alter his normal method of speaking to sound like Kevin Cullen.
Minihane is and was aware that he needed to obtain permission from Curtatone to audio record their conversation.
Minihane, posing as Cullen, asked for Mayor Curtatone's consent to record him during the interview by stating "I'm just going to record this so we have it, is that good?"
Mayor Curtatone, believing he was speaking to a representative of a legitimate news organization, the Boston Globe, responded, "no problem."
But since he wasn't actually talking to Cullen, that constitutes fraud and a violation of the state wiretapping law, since Curtatone says he had refused to talk to Minihane as Minihane.
Curtatone is seeking unspecified damages and a jury trial.