Comedian Michael Rapaport has been in movies and on television since the early nineties, but he is best known to Bravo fans as a frequent guest and “Housewives Superfan” on Andy Cohen’s nightly show, Watch What Happens Live.
But Rapaport is making news this week for a lawsuit that he’s filed against his former employer — Barstool Sports — says PageSix. The comedian and actor previously hosted a podcast for Barstool Sports, and was fired in February, according to the company’s president David Portnoy. He was canned for tweeting that the listeners were “losers in life.”
But in a lawsuit filed by Rapaport in Manhattan federal court, he alleges that Barstool sports started in on the comedian long before he lashed out on Twitter.
Rapaport says that in November 2017 one Barstool employee and blogger wrote a piece called “Michael Rapaport Is A Fraudulent Sack Of S**t.” Another Barstool staff writer called him a “a creepy herpes ridden failure.”
In the complaint, Rapaport also says that Barstool started selling t-shirts with the comedian’s likeness printed on them, complete with a clown nose and a cold sore on his lip. Portnoy promoted the sale of the t-shirts with what was considered an offensive tweet.
“Finally some Rapaport gear people will buy.”
EXCLUSIVE: Michael Rapaport is suing Barstool Sports and on-air personalities Smitty, KFC and president Dave Portnoy. https://t.co/MR3QC6PdsQ
— The Blast (@TheBlastNews) September 25, 2018
Rapaport’s lawsuit claims that it was Barstool’s intention to claim that the comedian “suffered from herpes and to harm Mr. Rapaport’s reputation.”
The lawsuit goes on to claim that Barstool Sports targeted Rapaport to generate “traffic to the site” as well as to get clicks and to harm the actor. According to Rapaport’s lawyer, Barstool Sports also owes him $375k.
“He [Michael Rapaport] is suing for breach of contract and defamation and seeking damages in an amount to be determined by a jury at trial.”
TMZ says that Rapaport is emphatic that he does not have herpes, but says that this didn’t stop several employees of Barstool from claiming that he did on social media — calling Rapaport a “herpe having, race baiting, D-list actor” and “old crusty herpe.”
TMZ reached out to David Portnoy, who issued a scathing statement back at Michael Rapaport — indicating that he doesn’t intend to back down anytime soon.
“Michael Rapaport is a loser. There is nothing worse than somebody who claims to be the king of trash talk and then cries when people respond in kind. Unfortunately as much I’d love to take credit for ruining his career he did it to himself by being an unhinged lunatic. We wish him nothing but the best as he fades into oblivion.”