Fired weatherman appeared on adult video websites for years

Former Spectrum News NY1 meteorologist Erick Adame appears in an undated handout image.
Former Spectrum News NY1 meteorologist Erick Adame appears in an undated handout image. (Photo courtesy Spectrum News NY1/Charter, Graphic by The Desk)

A New York-area meteorologist who was fired earlier this month after his explicit online broadcasts were disclosed to his employer had maintained active profiles on numerous adult webcam website since at least 2015, The Desk has learned.

Many of the explicit sessions were broadcast on the adult webcam websites Chaturbate and Cam 4 while meteorologist Erick Adame worked for a Spectrum News station in upstate New York, several years before he took a similar job at Spectrum News NY1 in New York City.

Last week, Adame affirmed he was fired after files of his sexual online broadcasts were sent to colleagues at Spectrum News NY1. The incident led to an internal investigation that ended with Adame’s termination, The Desk reported.

The statement, which was produced in partnership with a Los Angeles-based crisis management group, gave the impression to thousands of supporters that Adame’s interactions were occasional and private. But videos and images reviewed by The Desk show the opposite was true: Adame performed at least 20 times on Chaturbate and Cam 4, with the earliest broadcast dating to 2015.

Many of his performances took place in the privacy of his own home. But some were in open areas that were visible to the public. A broadcast from May 2015 showed Adame masturbating in the open garage of his Syracuse home. Later, he appears fully nude on the hood of a blue Ford sedan, where he continues to masturbate.

Adame used at least a dozen different screen names between early 2015 and late 2022, according to records reviewed by The Desk. Over the last nine months, Adame has filed several copyright-related complaints with various online services in an attempt to scrub copies of the videos from appearing on the Internet. A handful of videos remain online.

On Monday, Adame told The Desk by phone that he thought the broadcasts were only being streamed in real-time over the Internet. He said he did not recall any feature that automatically recorded his broadcasts on Chaturbate or Cam 4, adding that he reviewed the terms of service from both websites with his attorneys during a recent meeting. Adame’s attorneys have not returned numerous requests for comment.

Terms of use listed on both Chaturbate and Cam 4 state that users grant each website a royalty-free, perpetual, worldwide license to re-use content that is streamed via their platforms. They also say users will indemnify them from any claims that arise in connection with their use of each service.

Adame is not suing Chaturbate or Cam 4. Instead, he has filed a petition in New York court seeking to identify several users of a different website, the Large Penis Support Group (LPSG), who purportedly made copies of his online broadcasts available through the website’s forum. An attorney representing Unit 4 Media, the operator of LPSG, has not returned a request for comment.

One legal expert who spoke with The Desk said it may be difficult for Adame to prevail on the issue because of comments he made during a live-streamed performance last year. During that broadcast, Adame encouraged around 700 viewers to “whore me out, whatever it takes” and provided his full name, home address, cell phone number and the name of his employer. Audio from that broadcast was published by The Desk last week.

No intent to correct or clarify

Adame went public with his issue last Monday in a lengthy post on Instagram, through which he acknowledged performing on Chaturbate and Cam 4 without naming them specifically.

In his statement, Adame said his performance on the websites were “consensual,” and that copies of the broadcasts were later distributed to his employer and his mother without his knowledge or permission.

The statement generated dozens of news stories that largely repeated his statement without further scrutiny. It also led to an interview on the MSNBC program “The 11th Hour,” during which Adame said he felt he was a victim.

“I do feel that I’m a victim, whether or not that’s going to be classified as revenge porn or not,” Adame said in the interview. “Someone intentionally trying to hurt me and make me lose my career, that is obviously a point where I’m a victim.”

Adame’s situation triggered a firestorm of criticism against Spectrum News NY1, with politicians, celebrities and viewers demanding to know why the weatherman was fired over adult images that were purported to be private.

It was not until The Desk published the audio from Adame’s final Chaturbate broadcast that it became clear that his performances were conducted on the open Internet, in front of hundreds of viewers, and that Adame discussed both his job and his manager during the hour-long session.

Adame, his lawyers and his crisis manager have not issued any additional public remarks since The Desk published its story. But reporters, editors and producers at media outlets across the country say they’ve walked back any follow-up stories after feeling duped by Adame and his crisis manager, Howard Bragman.

At least one editor said the audio published by The Desk changed their perception of Adame, in that they no longer viewed him as the victim he claimed to be. But the editor said they have no intent to publish a follow-up story on him, because they fear doing so could cast future doubt on actual victims of revenge porn.

“Every part of me wants to correct the story,” the editor, who asked not to be identified, told The Desk last week. “But what we reported wasn’t technically wrong. We were just misled. It happens. If we correct it now, you know how people will react on Twitter, but bigger picture, will it hurt people in the future when they make claims that they’re victims of revenge porn? Will people go, well, you don’t sound any different than Erick Adame. How does that help anything?”

Jeff Jarvis, a former media critic who now leads the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism, said news organizations should have used more caution and scrutiny in their handling of Adame’s statement, but now likely fear unintended repercussions if they try to correct the record.

“Not having backed off before reporting, they now take on an obligation, but they’re likely scared of more surprises,” he said.