Bill Simmons is having a tough time getting rid of one of his employees.
The sports columnist and podcaster, who is also the founder of the pop-culture/sports blog, The Ringer, terminated the contract of one of his employees, Joseph Fuentes, in April this year. According to documents obtained by the Blast, Fuentes was a digital audio director at the company, who was fired after a podcast The Ringer did with Jeff Goldblum had a lot of technical issues.
But Fuentes reacted strangely to his dismissal. Court documents state that on the day he was fired, Fuentes returned to The Ringer studio in the evening wearing sweatpants, and asked two of his colleagues what they would do if they “needed to hide something from the police.” When the colleagues appeared clueless about what Fuentes was referring to, he took a wad of $20 bills and waved it in their direction and laughed.
Fuentes continued returning to the office several times after his termination. In one of the instances, he asked a woman who works at The Ringer for a date, saying he’d treat her like a “queen,” while more than a month after being fired, on June 4, Fuentes came to the studio and concocted tales of having met executives who do not actually exist.
All of this led Bell Simmons to file a restraining order against Fuentes on behalf of the entire company, stating that the former employee had also made “credible threats of violence” against him after he was terminated.
But it is not like Simmons did not try to understand what was making Fuentes behave in such a difficult manner after his termination. At one point, the ESPN and HBO sports personality attempted to soothe the disgruntled employee, asking Fuentes to have an “honest conversation” with him.
“If you want to have an honest conversation about whatever is going on with you right now, I’m happy to do so — we’ve known each other for 7 years and it’s hard for me to fathom why you are behaving like this.”
The request, however, seemed lost on Fuentes who did not cease returning to the studio and writing cryptic emails to Simmons, saying only “sorry” in some of those emails.
The court granted the restraining order against Fuentes, with him having been ordered to stay away from Bill Simmons and his family, his employees at The Ringer, as well as J. J. Redick, an NBA player who also hosts a podcast for the website.