Ex Takes Former Oracle President to Court
LOS ANGELES (CN) - The ex-girlfriend of former Oracle president Charles Phillips claims in court that the businessman stole a film that documents their relationship.
A representative for Phillips told Courthouse News week that the claims in the lawsuit are "categorically false and defamatory."
YaVaughnie Wilkins and her company, 21 Tulips, sued Charles E. Phillips Jr. and Micro Productions on Tuesday, in Federal Court.
Wilkins previously made headlines when she plastered giant $50,000 billboards depicting her and Phillips in an embrace in New York's Times Square, Atlanta and San Francisco, and displaying a link to an online photo archive that chronicled the couple's relationship.
In 2012, Wilkins appeared on the talk show "Dr. Phil" and told the host that news of Tiger Woods' affairs prompted her to take out the prominent ads.
"I just thought, 'If Oracle can put up a billboard I'm going to put up a billboard,'" Wilkins told Dr. Phil. "Then I just let it go and moved on until the Tiger Woods issue happened."
Now, in her federal complaint, Wilkins claims that Phillips physically abused her during their eight-year relationship.
According to Wilkins, they parted ways in August 2009 when she learned that Phillips was still married. Wilkins claims Phillips had led her to believe her he was divorced.
Phillips' spokeswoman Lisa Bloom called Wilkins' claims "categorically false and defamatory."
"Wilkins has yet to succeed in any of the numerous frivolous lawsuits she has filed over the past several years," Bloom wrote in an email to Courthouse News.
Wilkins, however, claims in the lawsuit that after the break-up, Phillips hired "scores" of private investigators to spy on her, and wove a "false and deceptive narrative" that depicted her not as a victim but as a "mistress," and "crazy woman" who was trying to exhort him.
Phillips "describes himself to be a 'prominent business leader and philanthropist.' Indeed, he is presently the CEO for the software company Infor, a former president of Oracle, and a former member of president Obama's Economic Recovery Advisory Board. However, Phillips's public face hides a much darker history of misogyny and mistreatment of women," the lawsuit states.
Wilkins claims that months after ditching Phillips she entered into an agreement with nonparty Mark Alamares to help her produce a documentary about her life called "The Glamorous Lie."
"In about early 2010, Wilkins decided to make a documentary memoir about her efforts to move on with her life, in the hopes of inspiring other women in relationships with toxic men, and to describe several products she had invented and patented," the complaint states.
But Alamares, who allegedly "dramatically over-represented" his experience in the film industry, gave a copy of the documentary to Phillips, Wilkins claims. She claims that Alamares was "terrified" because Phillips has also hired investigators to spy on him. She says that by that time her relationship with Alamares had gone sour, because she found out he had overstated his filmmaking abilities.
She claims that Phillips and his company, co-defendant Micro Productions, then edited the footage from the documentary to make it look like Phillips was the victim of an extortion scheme, and that Alamares played along.
Wilkins claims that in August 2012, after she asked Phillips to return the documentary, he threatened her by email, falsely representing that there were outstanding arrest warrants against her for arson, credit car fraud and embezzlement.
"For those reasons, Phillips threatened that Wilkins should 'be smart and get on with your life' and that Wilkins was 'playing with fire,'" the 22-page lawsuit claims.
Wilkins says when she tried to turn herself into the New York City Police Department she found out the warrants did not exist.
She says she learned of the alleged theft of her documentary in November 2012, after she took legal action against Alamares.
According to the Courthouse News database, Wilkins's company 21 Yellow Tulips filed a February 2012 state court complaint against the film director alleging conversion, trespass to chattel and fraud.
Wilkins says she invested $300,000 in the movie.
Named plaintiffs are Wilkins and 21 Yellow Tulips. She accuses Micro Productions and Phillips of copyright infringement, interference with contract, receipt and retention of stolen property, intentional infliction of emotional distress and conversion.
She seeks maximum statutory damages of $150,000, an injunction, accounting, an order that impounds Phillips' edited version of her work, and costs.
Wilkins is represented by Abhay Khosla of the Sherman Law Group of Beverly Hills.