Nicholas Sparks has been hit with a civil lawsuit by a former employee who makes a number of shocking claims about the beloved Notebook author: Sparks is a “homophobic and anti-Semitic racist,” who has disrespect for Alzheimer’s’ sufferers.
The plaintiff in the Nicholas Sparks suit is Saul Hillel Benjamin. He was hired eight years ago to manage Epiphany School for Global Studies. Nicholas is the founder of the institution.
Sparks’ Mission Statement on the site is a far departure from the allegations contained in the lawsuit that paint a dark side of the critically-acclaimed writer.
“The Epiphany School of Global Studies, anchored in the Judeo-Christian commandment to Love God and Your Neighbor as Yourself, is a rigorous college-preparatory and globally-focused school where dynamic and innovative learning is stretched beyond the classroom walls, emphasizing the knowledge, skills, creativity, adaptability, curiosity and international experiences students will need to flourish in an increasingly globalized 21st century—and accessible to students regardless of economic circumstance.”
Douglas Wigdor, the attorney representing Benjamin in his lawsuit against Nicholas Sparks, spoke to TMZ about the developments.
“Apparently, despite the efforts our society has made, Mr. Sparks wants to travel back in time and vilify those who promote diversity and tolerance of all people regardless of their sexual orientation and race.”
In a strong rebuttal to the civil action against their client, Sparks’ lawyer, Scott Schwimer weighed in.
“As a gay, Jewish man who has represented Nick for almost 20 years I find these allegations completely ludicrous and offensive.”
Schwimer’s co-counsel, Theresa Sprain, said “We deny these allegations.”
Benjamin’s lawsuit against Nicholas Sparks is rooted in his claim that the school lacked diversity and held a bias against blacks. Court documents in the suit claim that of the 514 students enrolled in the school, only two were African-American. And when the former headmaster attempted to complain about the matter, Nicholas Sparks allegedly responded in a way that convinced the plaintiff his boss was a bigot.
“Black students are too poor and can’t do the academic work.”
After the encounter and shocking revelation, Benjamin met with officials at the NAACP local chapter in North Carolina. And when Sparks learned about the meeting, he became ill-tempered and admonished the headmaster to “engage only in private and less visible contact with African-Americans.”
The man Nicholas may face in civil court based his claims of Sparks being homophobic on a time when he referenced an incident involving gay students. They were at the center of bullying attacks, and lodged complaints to the school. Court papers say Sparks essentially ignored the group’s concerns and swept the grievances under the rug. In the irony of it all, Nicholas Sparks actually endorsed gay students’ project of enacting a “homo-caust.”
Finally, on the claims of Antisemitism, Benjamin, who is Jewish, says Sparks deliberately embarrassed him in public by compelling him to face the whole student body and “justify” his heritage. During the alleged incident, he was subjected to insults from parents in attendance.
Nicholas Sparks terminated the man, who then acted as whistle-blower about the author’s troubling persona when he’s not in front of cameras or at book signings. He told of a time after he was fired that Sparks warned everyone at the school to ignore the man’s frivolous claims because was “suffering from Alzheimer’s.”
Arguably, the name Nicholas Sparks does not pop up in the minds of many fans when they are pressed to guess who the defendant is facing these egregious allegations. The author, a devout Christian, writes books on love, hope and forgiveness. However, in the end, the public may never know if the truth comes out in court; these matters often settle and parties are sworn to uphold confidentiality.
[Image via: Deadline]