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Man Who Accused Former Viacom Execs Of #MeToo Assaults Charged With Perjury

A man who claimed to be the victim of multiple assaults by media executives now faces charges that he fabricated evidence in his case.

By Megan Carpentier
Rovier Carrington Getty

A once-aspiring reality show producer and star is now facing federal perjury charges over a lawsuit he filed at the height of the #MeToo era alleging he had been abused by Hollywood executives, it was revealed this week.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York unsealed one charge of perjury against Rovier Carrington — who has also repeatedly claimed that he is the unacknowledged, illegitimate grandson of Three Stooges star Moe Howard. According to a press release from Southern District of New York's office, Carrington was arrested in California and is facing extradition to New York. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison.

Carrington, who previously referred to himself as Tie’Lonzo Rovheir, made headlines in 2018 when he filed a lawsuit against Viacom, the estate of former Paramount Pictures CEO Brad Grey and then-former MTX executive Brian Graden. In the suit, he claimed that Grey first coerced him into a sexual relationship 2010 and then sexually assaulted him in 2011 while Carrington said he was working on a reality television and scripted series pilot for the network. 

Carrington's lawsuit stated that, after the assault, Viacom human resources asked Carrington to sign a non-disclosure agreement and accept "an envelope filled with money." Carrington lawsuit claimed that when he refused the money, his projects were shelved and he was blacklisted from Paramount and broadly within Hollywood for three years.

Carrington's lawsuit also claimed that Graden contacted him via a gay dating site in 2014 as he was finally entertaining interest from other potential partners in his projects and encouraged him to instead sign with Graden's production company. After he did so, Carrington claimed, Graden pressured Carrington into a sexual relationship, including allegedly drugging him against his will before one sexual encounter. 

Carrington claimed in the suit that only Graden signed the contract to produce Carrington's shows — one of which Carrington claimed starred him and Montana Fishburne, the daughter of actor Lawrence Fishburne — in mid-2015 after the executive gave him a sexually transmitted infection and had him sign a non-disclosure agreement. Carrington claimed that throughout 2015, Graden pursued the sexual relationship more than the production deal; this culminated with Fishburne leaving the reality show production in 2016.

Carrington also claimed that he started to tweak the idea of his reality dating show with Fishburne in 2015 to be more of a reality dating competition show, in which he was to star. Carrington's suit claimed that Graden stole the concept for his own show, "Finding Prince Charming," which premiered on Logo in 2016, and denied Carrington credit.

The lawsuit asked for $50 million in compensatory damages and another $50 million in punitive damages.

Graden and Viacom objected to the suit from the beginning and, in filings, strongly contested the authenticity of the evidence that Carrington and his attorney presented, which were emails that Carrington included copies of in the lawsuit, which he said proved his case. 

In the course of discovery in the case, forensic evidence strongly suggested that all but one of the emails presented by Carrington as evidence in his case was either fully or partially fabricated, according to documents presented by Graden's lawyers in asking that the case be dismissed and attorneys' fees be awarded to the defendants. They also provided evidence that Carrington attempted to delete emails and email accounts after the court ordered them preserved, as well as destroy evidence from the phone used to send the purported emails — by returning it to Apple instead of turning it over to forensic investigators. In the course of that investigation, Carrington's lawyer resigned from the case.

The court dismissed Carrington's lawsuit with prejudice in a hearing in New York on October 2019, which neither Carrington or a lawyer representing him attended, according to court documents.

However, Carrington and a new lawyer filed for a temporary order of protection against Graden in Los Angeles the day they were due to appear for the New York hearing, alleging Graden had threatened his life in a series of phone calls. According to the judge in the original New York case, Graden contested the order of protection and, at the hearing, presented evidence that he had made no such calls. 

An expert confirmed that the calls to Carrington's phone had been spoofed; at a follow-up hearing, Carrington and counsel did not appear and the order of protection was dismissed with prejudice.

In September 2020, Carrington and his lawyer announced their intention to refile their lawsuit, alleging that, among other things, the judge either colluded with or was bribed by the plaintiffs. On September 11, 2020, the judge in the original case granted a permanent injunction against Carrington, preventing him from suing Graden or the other defendants in any federal or state court.

Carrington and his lawyer nonetheless sued the defendants in California state court in the fall of 2020 and were ordered to answer for contempt of court. In Dec. 2020, both were held in contempt; in an effort to stay the contempt finding, they applied for a stay of the order to the appeals court in which they liked the judge's conduct to a "lynching."

In Feb. 8, 2021, Carrington was ordered to report to prison in two weeks time; his lawyer was order to pay fines of $500 per day until they withdrew the California suit. They withdrew the suit on Feb. 19.

The federal perjury charges against Carrington, based on his original lawsuit, were unsealed seven months to the day that he was originally supposed to report for confinement on the contempt charges.

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