Bunimovitz: Private’s Termination Was Retaliatory

BARCELONA — Ilan Bunimovitz, who was replaced by Berth Milton as Private Media Group’s CEO last week, is firing back at the company, saying that his termination was an act of retaliation in an effort to silence him, XBIZ has learned.

XBIZ obtained a letter sent to Private from Bunimovitz’s attorneys that claims there was no legitimate basis or cause for his purported termination.

Further, the letter states that Bunimovitz believes he remains Private’s CEO and that his employment benefits will continue through the term of the employment agreement.

Milton, a long-time Private executive and board member, replaced Bunimovitz as acting CEO on July 19.

Private said Bunimovitz was terminated by the company under provisions allowing it to terminate the agreement for cause.

According to the letter, “It appears that the truth of the matter is that this action was taken because of and only after Mr. Bunimovitz raised several questions to the board about the chairman’s actions and how they might constitute violations of the federal securities laws, fiduciary duties and other legal requirements.”

“It seems inescapable that the action of purportedly terminating Mr. Bunimovitz was taken in retaliation for his raising these issues,” the letter said. “Under federal and state law, the purported termination is therefore unlawful, invalid and requires that Mr. Bunimovitz be reinstated to his position.”

Bunimovitz told XBIZ that he would like to respond to questions, but felt it necessary to clear his answers with his attorneys first.

Bunimovitz was appointed as Private’s CEO in April 2009.

Calls to Bunimovitz’s attorneys and Private’s attorneys went unreturned by post time.