Tonight XBIZ is honoring Kelly Holland of Penthouse who is hosting their annual “adult talent appreciation gala”.
The irony of that is, just today it was revealed to us that Penthouse hasn’t been showing their employees much appreciation and one is even suing her for what could turn out to be a multi-million dollar lawsuit – but money is only a tiny fraction of it. Wait until you see what she is accused of.
The lawsuit which was filed on November 6, 2017, includes a complaint for breach of employment contract, breach of consulting agreement, wrongful termination, failure to pay wages, and defamation among others.
According to the court documents, Donald Slaughter was hired to facilitate the acquisition of Penthouse from its previous owner (Friend Finder) in May of 2015. He went on to say that Holland herself had tried to negotiate the purchase of Penthouse herself in the past but was unable to find a lender or investor willing to back the deal.
Slaughter was brought in to make the deal happen. Initially, he was promised 5% of the total price of the transaction upon the successful close of escrow. That deal went south pretty quickly and had to be reworked. This time he would be paid a commission equal to 1.5% of the total acquisition price. This time, however, he not only had to get FFN to agree to sale the company but also find some investors.
The deal closed in February of 2016 for $9.5 million. From that deal, the lawsuit claims Kelly Holland and Penthouse still owes him about $36,000.
After Kelly Holland took over Penthouse she hired the plaintiff, giving him a 5-year contract with a base annual salary of $65,000.
They also hired his company as a consultant for broadcast, licensing and publishing deals, of which Penthouse was to pay his company $,7,500 a month. Acting in this behalf, in March of 2017, in recognition of accomplishing his job in a satisfactory manner, the contract was re-negotiated and a bonus of $20,000 was to be paid to the plaintiff and his payment was to be increased by $20,000 a year (that’s on top of the $7,500 per month his company was already being paid).
The next part of the lawsuit is most damning — it states that Kelly Holland was verbally abusive on a daily basis.
Again keep in mind these are all part of legal documents filed in court.
She would give male employees sexual enhancement pills stating that they needed them because they were all sexually dysfunctional.
I spoke to one attorney who although not involved in this particular case said that something like this falls under the sexual harassment laws and if there is even the smallest amount of proof she did this, could cost Penthouse millions of dollars in damages.
Kelly Holland was also accused of placing dog shit or as the court documents call it “canine excrement” on the desk of one employee, as a comment on the quality of his work.
She is also accused of terminating key members of the team based on her own personal conflicts with them and that Penthouse as a whole had “substantial difficulty retaining employees”.
All of that still not enough for you? Well, it’s not over yet!
The court documents also accuse Kelly Holland of paying herself additional “undisclosed compensation” throwing the company even further into debt and she also borrowed money from the company’s publishing distributor.
And all of that was going on while refusing to pay key vendors including legal counsal.
*** I’ve heard about Penthouse having issues paying affiliates for a while now.
And last but not least, there is the part where Kelly Holland is accused of defamation. When the plaintiff complained about his mistreatment and lack of payment Kelly Holland is accused of telling people she fired him because he stole money while he was employed there. The last few pages of the court document detail out all the things Kelly Holland said about the plaintiff that he claims aren’t true.
I don’t know how well that part of the lawsuit will work out for him, but like the lawyer I spoke with said earlier, if he has any sort of evidence of her abusive behavior as a boss, especially the male enhancement stuff could be a goldmine for him and any other former male employees at Penthouse.
While most people are quick to point out the abusive behaviors of males in the industry, I’ll think it’s pretty shocking to find out that some females can be just as abusive.
This case against Penthouse and Kelly Holland has only just been filed and it could take years to work its way through the system but it will be interesting to see how it all plays out.