Ousted radio host Eddie "Piolín" Sotelo has reportedly filed a lawsuit against six of his former co-workers at Univision, claiming they plotted to shake him down for roughly $5 million by threatening to go public with false allegations of sexual harassment.
According to TMZ, the Spanish-language radio host maintains those six people contacted him last week and offered to "seal their lips" if he gave them $4.9 million in hush money.
TMZ.com reported that in the lawsuit filed this week in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Sotelo states the six had threatened to come forward with allegations that mirrored those of another Univision employee who recently accused him of sexual harassment and workplace misconduct.
Univision abruptly canceled Sotelo’s widely popular radio show “Piolín por la Mañana” on late July after 10 years on the air. It was the program with the largest audience in multiple markets nationwide.
During his tenure at Univision, the program drew big names, most notably President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. Others include Will Smith, Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull, George Lopez and many more.
The Los Angeles Times reported the cancellation came after an employee alleged that Sotelo had sexually harassed him.
Alberto “Beto” Cortez, a scriptwriter, producer and team member of the program, alleged Sotelo harassed him “physically, sexually and emotionally” for three years. Cortez made his claim public in a letter sent on April 16 by his attorney, Robert R. Clayton to Univision executives Roberto Llamas and Jose Valle.
Sotelo has denied the allegation.
Earlier this month Sotelo broke his silence on Facebook, disputing the claims against him and thanking his fans for their support.
“Contrary to … malicious statements, I have received an outpouring of unconditional support from listeners and fans,” he wrote. “I am very thankful for their thoughts, their prayers and their encouragement.”
Sotelo is suing for civil extortion and intentional infliction of emotional distress. He’s asking for unspecified damages.
Just days after Univision cancelled Sotelo’s show, he signed with Sirius XM Radio.
Born in Mexico, Sotelo began his radio career in Corona, Calif. in 1991, five years after he entered the United States as an undocumented immigrant.