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Court hearing scheduled on fired weatherman’s subpoena

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 judge will examine evidence in connection with a now-fired weatherman’s request for personal information from an online adult forum that is part of a broader effort to sue people who purportedly published his intimate images.

The hearing comes after former Spectrum News NY1 meteorologist Erick Adame went public with his situation last week, in which he asserted at least one person took still images from an explicit online broadcast, then distributed those files to his co-workers, managers and mother without his permission.

The images were connected to several online broadcasts Adame performed on the adult websites Chaturbate and Cam 4. His last performance was three days after Christmas, during which he spoke openly about his job and gave out a wealth of personal details, including his full name, home address and cell phone number.

At one point, Adame expressed a desire to have his boss at the cable news station find out about his live stream, and said he felt it would be “hot” if his manager had sex with him on camera.

When that happened, Adame immediately went on the defense, issuing copyright takedown notices to search engines and several websites where the material was available after the broadcast. He was fired earlier this month after someone sent his colleagues at Spectrum News NY1 a copy of the videos, including the one where he mentioned his boss, according to people familiar with the matter.

Adame has not addressed the specific points of the broadcast. After consulting with a crisis manager, he issued a lengthy statement on his personal Instagram page in which he admitted appearing on an adult website, but asserting the conduct he performed on the open Internet was actually meant to be private.

The statement was issued in tandem with a subpoena filed in New York court, in which a law firm representing Adame was seeking information associated with four names that purportedly posted his images on the Large Penis Support Group (LPSG), an online forum where adult material is traded and discussed.

Unit 4 Media, the parent company of the LPSG, has not formally responded to his subpoena. An attorney representing the website has until October 27 to respond to the legal request, according to documents reviewed by The Desk on Wednesday.

In his request, Adame is citing various provisions in the U.S. Copyright Act to bolster his claim that at least one person breached the LPSG’s terms of service when they distributed his intimate images without his permission. He did not say whether he filed a police report in any jurisdiction, and it is not clear how he connected the LPSG users to the person or people who sent his nude images and videos to Spectrum News NY1 earlier this year.

In news media interviews, Adame has claimed that his performances cost him his prized job as a television meteorologist. But sources at Spectrum News NY1 said they knew Adame had performed on adult websites for months and were working with him to have images of his performances removed from the internet. Ultimately, the cable network’s parent company, Charter Communications, signed off on his dismissal after learning he spoke about his boss during his last performance.

In New York state, where Adame worked, it is a crime to distribute intimate videos or images of a person without the subject’s consent. But the law doesn’t apply when the subject of the explicit images or videos makes them publicly available on the Internet, according to legal experts who spoke with The Desk.

His legal case could also be complicated by a statement Adame made in his last broadcast, in which he encouraged viewers to “whore him out.” He later said he thought it would be “hot” if his boss knew about his webcam performances.

“Your word is your bond,” one legal expert told The Desk last week. “It doesn’t matter if it was in the heat of passion — he said it, it’s out there, he’s held to it.”

But Adame asserts he only intended his sexual performances to be live-streamed on the Internet, and never intended for them to be made available beyond that.  During a phone interview with The Desk on Monday, Adame said he didn’t recall a feature that allowed either site to make recordings of live performances available for later viewing.

The weatherman said he recently sat down with his legal team to review the terms of service from both Chaturbate and Cam 4, at which point they proceeded with their subpoena request against the LPSG, which is a separate forum not connected with either site. Adame’s attorneys have not returned multiple requests for comment.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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