Industry News

Dr Suzy Sues Kelly Shibari

NL- I’d like to hear from Kelly too, Kelly, pls drop me an email with your side of the story.

Dr Suzy Sues Kelly Shibari
OP/ED From Dr Suzy from http://bloggamy.com/kelly-shibari

Bloggamist’s Note: It saddens us to have to write out the following timeline about a fellow member of the sex-positive movement.  But the fact is, we are suing Kelly Shibari for damages arising from the disappearance of thousands of irreplaceable documents dating back to 2007 that went missing during her last hours of work for us.   Such actions followed by silence—whether from Wall Street bankers or a former assistant—demand a response.  Sorry Kelly, but you asked for this.  ~ SMB & MRL

In December of 2010, Kelly Shibari, broke and eager to escape her “crazed” roommate, applied for the position of receptionist/assistant with The Dr. Susan Block Show.  Despite warnings from others and our personal reservations about her, we accepted her into our community.  As with all community members, we reimbursed Kelly Shibari for her time on a barter basis, giving her a large private space in our 14,000 square foot loft, from which she ran her own business, in addition to helping us on a part-time basis.  We also paid for her utilities, food, phone, Internet, maid service and other communal amenities.

In January, 2011, because of her public relations background in the adult industry, we made her “producer” of The Dr. Susan Block Show.  The show has been broadcasting on radio stations around the country, cable TV (including HBO) and the Internet since 1984.  That’s 27 years of talk radio, 20 years on cable TV and 15 years broadcasting live on the Internet.

As the show’s producer, one of her most important tasks was to organize and update our various press, guest, sponsor, art world and university mailing lists, as well as to expand these lists to include additional media, academic institutions, past and future show guests, past and future sponsors, bloggers and electronic media.  She did this work under the supervision of executive producer Max Lobkowicz.

For this position, Kelly Shibari  was given control of The Dr. Susan Block Show Gmail account ([email protected]) which contained what she knew to be vital show correspondence dating back to 2007, as well as all aforementioned lists.  No one else operated this account except Kelly Shibari, though Max, her supervisor, had the password.

In February, 2011, Kelly Shibari asked Max if she could do the driving and running errands for the community, as she needed to earn extra money because her website and private PR business were not doing well.

In April, 2011, when our general manager left, Kelly Shibari  asked if she could take over “half” of that position.  After some consideration, we made her and our editorial assistant, Helen Z, co-managers.  Her duties included scheduling shifts, as well as billing and handling accounts payable, including her own personal payment ledger, in addition to continuing her duties as show producer.

On September 12, 2011, Kelly Shibari  gave us two weeks’ notice, citing her need to help out her newly widowed father.  She assured us leaving had “nothing to do with” us, and that she would be moving in with a friend.  She said she was happy to organize all the lists and other critical show information for our new producer, Tasia.

Over the following two weeks, Kelly Shibari  quickly became less and less helpful, continually postponing the turn over these materials, while reassuring us that she was “working on it,” by organizing everything into a folder called “Tasia” which she would give to us before leaving.  We weren’t too concerned, as we trusted she would debrief us and our new producer as would normally happen in a transitional scenario.

Yet, in the early morning hours of September 25, 2011, Kelly Shibari, without communicating with any of us, disappeared, along with her furniture and other belongings, leaving her space totally empty.

Something else was also gone.

All copies of our press, guest, sponsor, art world and university mailing lists and all other critical show documents had been deleted from our front office computer.  The so-called “Tasia” folder contained nothing but a few random guest photos and a recent press release.

Our computer backup system records reveal that this deletion occurred at 1:26 am, September 25, 2011, during Kelly Shibari’s last shift here.

But the vandalism doesn’t stop there. Our show Gmail account had been completely raped of all its thousands of emails, lists and other important information. Five years of show correspondence, pieces of our history, vanished? How? Where?  Everything was there just a few hours before. Now it was all gone; even the trash folder had been erased.

And guess what! We also discovered that “someone” had stolen Kelly Shibari’s personal payment ledger.  Hmm….Could this have been the elevator operator?

In fact, this was no mystery.  It was Kelly Shibari’s responsibility, even if she had stopped working “for” us a few hours before.  So we called, emailed and texted her with urgent messages, hoping that this was some kind of mistake that could be rectified immediately.

She didn’t answer us all day, though she did have time to post this photo of a Chinese fortune with this message on her Twitter account: “Pat yourself on the back for making that right choice”  on September 26, 2011.
The next day, she sent this cryptically incriminating message to us: “its [sic] not – check the folders on that acct. I did a basic cleanup of spam when I first got there & erased sent emails as projects were completed.”

Needless to say, we had already checked the folders and there was nothing in them.  In fact, there were no folders.  Zero.  Zilch. Nada.  Some “cleanup.”  Cleaned out is more to the point.

When we texted Kelly back, questioning her about her unauthorized “cleaning” spree, she did not respond.  Then we asked for her help in finding or replacing the show documents that went missing on her watch.  Still she did not reply.
Oddly, she cc’ed us on an email to one of our business associates, saying that she was “not able to speak to any staff members there,” though she was the one not speaking to us.  We emailed her back immediately, saying “Oh come on, Kelly, we’d love to speak to you!” Her subsequent silence spoke volumes.

Meanwhile, several people in our community stepped up to the plate, working many hours to reconstruct the missing lists and other materials.

Then cometh the smoking gun:  as we made our way through the haze of lies, disappearing documents and silence, we discovered that Kelly Shibari went to work for Studio Servitu, another studio in our building complex, immediately after leaving us.

Enter William J. Glasser, “national legal counsel” (whatever that means) for Kelly Shibari, calling on his Google phone number from New York, saying something to the effect of “You’re all very nice folks, you must be imagining all these terrible things, your computers must have gone haywire, and why are you asking her to pay for material that is just somehow gone now that she’s gone?”

In an effort to resolve this without lawsuits, we asked Mr. Glasser to at least have his client give us copies of our lists which she kept on her laptop.  This time, he did not respond.

So my dear readers, the suspect is incommunicado, her lawyer has disappeared, and on Friday, 11-11-11, we served Kelly Shibari  with a lawsuit.  Regardless of how the case turns out, these critical show-related documents went missing on her watch, and we’d feel remiss in our duty to the larger community if we brought the suit without telling the story.

We love our work; we’ve been at it for over 27 years.   But like everyone these days, our little community of artists and educators is struggling.  So the last thing we need is this kind of behavior.

Need a reference for Kelly Shibari?  What kind of experience have you had with her?  What do you think?  Call Max at 213.670.0066.

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