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Papa John Schnatter Reacts To Attempt By Former Ad Firm To Dismiss Lawsuit, Avoid Accountability After Secret Taping, Set Up, And Alleged Leak To Media

08/13/2021 | 02:59pm EDT

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Aug. 13, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- John Schnatter, the founder and former Chairman and CEO of Papa John's International, reacted today to the filing of a Motion to Dismiss his lawsuit against former ad firm Laundry Service and its parent company Wasserman Media, the defendants that submitted the pleading in a federal court in Louisville, Kentucky Wednesday evening.

"Laundry Service and Wasserman Media continue to manipulate the facts surrounding their malicious actions when they set me up to damage our brand though they were contractually obligated to do the exact opposite," said Papa John Schnatter.

"The defendants claim there was no agreement between us, but they just filed our signed and executed agreement with their motion to the court. They state that our confidential media coaching session should no longer be considered confidential even though they had leaked a portion of the tape – without its full context. This was after, we believe, they doctored the tape to delete their own damning words that prove they set me up to be falsely accused of racism. Then Casey Wasserman allegedly attempted to extort $6 million from Papa John's, and my own board of directors terminated me but paid him $2.3 million," Schnatter said.

"We will pursue this litigation to the very end in order to reveal the truth of what happened and to demonstrate the set up and the cover up enacted by the defendants Laundry Service and Wasserman Media and backed up by the Papa John's board of directors," he concluded.

Discovery in the litigation to date has demonstrated that the defendants secretly recorded a private media coaching session with Mr. Schnatter in which he expressed his complete disdain for racism, and then they reversed the meaning and intent of his comments when defendants allegedly leaked limited excerpts of the call to the media in 2018.

Defendant Casey Wasserman also threatened former Papa John's CEO Steve Ritchie that he would "bury the founder" if they were not paid $6 million, clearly suggesting that the ad firm would leak the contents of the tape of the private media coaching session. The full tape, accessed through discovery, shows that during and after the conference call with Mr. Schnatter, Laundry Service CEO Jason Stein was caught in a hot mic moment saying, "I think by Sunday John won't be working … anymore," and that he hoped Schnatter "gets f--king sent out to pasture on this s--t."

For more information on John H. Schnatter v 247 Group, LLC d/b/a Laundry Service, and Wasserman Media Group, LLC and to access the audio recording of the conference call, the transcript from the call, and other highlights, go to:

Reference: Civil Action No. 3:20-cv-000003-CHBCHL

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SOURCE John Schnatter

© PRNewswire 2021
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