LOS ANGELES (CN) –Terry Crews’ former social media firm’s manager sued for $1.5 million over claims the actor ordered a cybermob to “shakedown” his firm and ruin his reputation after refusing to pay him for his work.
Darwin Hall, who says he “toiled for many years” to boost the social media numbers and online presence for the Old Spice spokesperson and star of “Brooklyn 99,” was a longtime friend of Crews before he began to manage his social media brand and website, according to the lawsuit.
The complaint, which was filed on Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court and made available to the public on Wednesday, accuses Crews of directing harrowing harassment and cyberstalking at Hall.
Crews hired Hall and his firm Symbolic Web Media in 2000, according to the complaint.
Hall says he put in more than 6,000 hours of work for Crews’ online presence, but Crews only paid him for about 296 of them at the agreed-upon rate of $55 per hour.
According to Hall, Crews promised to pay as soon as he landed a big role.
In 2013, Hall says Crews “flew into a rage” over a dating app Hall was working on for professional women, telling Hall they could not work together if Hall “worked with anyone that was LGBT on an app for the LGBT community.”
Hall said Crews promised to reimburse him if he cancelled his contract for the dating app, but ignored Hall when he asked for the money.
Later, Hall says Crews tweeted that Hall was working on pornographic websites, not a dating app.
In the midst of negotiations to reimburse Hall, Crews initiated “unbelievable and unlawful cyberstalking, cyberbullying, harassment, and destruction” of Hall’s reputation and business, Hall says.
Crews took his claims that Hall was creating pornographic websites – as well as “squatting” on domain names – to multiple social media platforms on Dec. 22, 2017, including Twitter, Reddit and Facebook, according to the lawsuit.
Hall also claims Crews tweeted false allegations, such as a 2017 Christmas Day post that said Hall tried to kill his college roommate by putting mercury into peanut butter.
As a result, Hall says he received death threats and threats to his business. Hall says he was terrified for his life because Crews recruited people to hunt him down and put pressure on him to stop going after the money Crews owed him.
Crews even acknowledged that his followers were going after Hall, according to the complaint.
“Guy used to be a friend so I paid him to help him out— until I found out he was creating porn sites— so I let him go,” Crews wrote on Twitter, as quoted in the 61-page complaint. “Therefore the revenge shakedown.”
Hall is suing for defamation and asking the court to block Crews from posting online and encouraging others to post threats. Hall also wants Crews to delete all postings that reference him or his business.
Hall is represented by Neville L. Johnson. He seeks damages for breach of contract, cyberstalking, defamation and other charges.
A spokesperson for Crews declined to comment on the lawsuit.