A judge has granted Public Broadcasting Services broad access to Tavis Smiley’s financial records according to the court’s minute order dated March 22.
The Los Angeles Times revealed Smiley still owed the debt in an article titled Tavis Smiley’s #MeToo exile didn’t last. Inside his comeback on L.A. radio.
Smiley accused the broadcaster of overreaching to recover the money from his personal funds, rather than his production company, which was the target of the litigation. He said the library of programs held by his TS Media Inc. could be sold to produce more than enough money to pay the judgment.
Smiley called the pursuit of his other assets “a continuation of their efforts to destroy me by any means necessary.”
PBS responded to that claim with a statement. “Mr. Smiley’s meritless grievances were aired in court three years ago,” the company said, “and the jury ruled in our favor on all counts. We continue to work to collect the judgment the court awarded us.”
Told of Smiley’s suggestion that selling his old programs would raise enough money to pay the judgment, one PBS executive said: “It begs the question: If he has the assets, why hasn’t he paid?”
According to the court’s orders, “the parties are to meet and confer within ten (10) days and after the parties meet and confer counsel is to provide the request for production sixty (60) days after the meet and confer”.
Emilie St. John is a freelance journalist for 2UrbanGirls.com, the South Bay Examiner, and contributing writer for the Los Angeles Wave newspaper.