Fired DJ Loses Claim Against Clear Channel

     (CN) – A federal judge in Manhattan threw out a lawsuit against Clear Channel brought by a New York DJ who was fired for his on-air comments suggesting that he wanted to perform lewd sex acts on a rival DJ’s 4-year-old daughter.




     DJ Star, whose real name is Troi Torain, also offered $500 to any listener who could tell him where the daughter of Raashaun Casey, also known as DJ Envy, went to school.
     The remarks led to Torain’s arrest on charges of child endangerment. They were later dropped.
Power 105 fired Torain after the incident, citing six separate violations of his employment contract.
     U.S. District Judge Peter K. Leisure ruled that Clear Channel “did not breach the employment agreement” when it took the shock jock off the air.
     Torain hosted the nationally syndicated morning show “Star & Buc Wild” with his stepbrother. He had a running on-air feud with Hot 97’s DJ Envy, whose show ran opposite Torain’s. “Star & Buc Wild” aired on New York’s Hot 97 for three years before Torain inked a lucrative deal with Clear Channel in 2004.
     In May 2006, Torain called Casey’s half-Asian wife a “slant-eyed whore” and a “lo-mein eater” on the air. He continued to taunt his rival by threatening to track down his child and engage in sexual relations with her.
     “If you didn’t hear me, I said I would like to do an R. Kelly on your seed. On your little baby girl,” Torain said, referring to the R&B singer who was acquitted on charges of sex with a minor.
     He claimed the comments were retaliation for on-air remarks Casey made about his mother.
     The crude diatribe prompted New York Congressman John Liu to brand Torain a “sick, racist pedophile,” saying he should be “terminated from the face of the earth.” Torain’s lawsuit for defamation against the congressman was also dismissed.
     Judge Leisure said the employment contract “makes clear that Clear Channel reserved the right to terminate Torain if ‘the program content was obscene, indecent, profane or otherwise in violation of the law.'”
     The contract “unambiguously” gave Clear Channel the right to fire the DJ with cause based on its own determinations of what’s obscene, the judge wrote.
     He said the comments were so outrageous and extreme, “‘as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency, and to be regarded as atrocious, and utterly intolerable in a civilized community,'” quoting one of the requirements for intentional infliction of emotional distress.
     Clear Channel’s Responsible Broadcasting Initiative only allows “indecent” material between the “safe harbor” hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
     Torain said the station should shoulder some of the blame because it had the ability to “dump” programming it deemed indecent. He said the station hired a “program monitor,” who was charged with deleting material that might violate FCC rules before it aired.
     The judge rejected that claim and said Torain believed his contract “provided him with greater protections” than it did, based on pre-contract discussions.
     Torain also claimed that the statements he made about the rival DJ’s family were similar in substance to other statements he’s made on his show, for which he was never reprimanded.
     “While Torain’s previous on-air statements do appear similar in kind to those made about the Caseys, none of the other comments were directed at the Caseys, none of the other comments were directed at a four-year-old, and none of the comments received the public attention that the May 2006 comments received,” Judge Leisure wrote.
     “Star & Buc Wild” returned to the air in November 2007 on New York’s Pulse 87. The show came to end in October 2008. Torain currently hosts a daily entertainment show on VladTV.com.

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