Sage Steele Seeks Legal Action on CAA After Controversial Remarks

Former ESPN Anchor Claims Agency and Network Failed to Protect Her Career

Sage Steele, the former ESPN anchor took legal action against the Creative Arts Agency (CAA) and ESPN for not supporting and protecting her career following controversial remarks she made in 2021 in a podcast. Steele filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday, seeking damages for breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, and retaliation.

During the podcast interview with Jay Cutler (NFL quarterback), Steele expressed a lack of conviction about private companies’ requirement of employees for vaccination and former President Barack Obama’s racial identity. She mentioned that the obligation was “sick” and “scary to me in many ways.”

Following Steele’s remarks in 2021, she faced immediate suspension and a reduction in her on-air appearances at ESPN. Steele claims that CAA, her former talent agency, did not adequately represent her interests during this period, exacerbating the negative impact on her career. In her lawsuit, Steele seeks damages for breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, and retaliation.

The lawsuit states that the agency “failed to give Steele the legal advice it had agreed to provide her, and failed to advise Steele that she should consult an attorney who was experienced in free speech and employment rights.”

It also adds that “Her long-term career prospects have been immeasurably damaged as a result of her reasonable reliance on the advice and counsel of CAA,” and also says that Steele “suffered enormous emotional, mental, and physical harms resulting from the stress of being left by CAA to twist in the wind rather than standing up for her rights.”

Sage Steele alleges that CAA and ESPN’s actions—or lack thereof—amounted to retaliation, causing severe harm to her career. She contends that both organizations had a duty to defend her, which they failed to fulfil, leading to her professional downfall.

As of now, neither CAA nor ESPN has issued a public response to the lawsuit. Steele continues to be active in public speaking and media, advocating for better support systems for professionals in similar situations.

This legal battle underscores the importance of agency-client relationships and the responsibilities of networks in managing controversies involving their talent.

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