Bobby Lee Calls Bullshit on Podcast Company Dumping Deal Over Morals Clause
The blowback from Bobby Lee’s Tijuana story has, allegedly, hit his wallet — and Lee is fighting back.
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In late March, the prolific podcaster and MadTV star made headlines after resurfaced video clips showed Lee telling a disturbing story of a pre-fame trip to Tijuana, in which he claimed to have engaged in forceful sex with a crying prostitute who “looked like Natalie Portman in The Professional.” Dating back to 2014, Lee has told the story at least four separate times on four different podcasts, including his own, TigerBelly, which filed a complaint against the Amazon-owned podcast company Wondery yesterday.
Lee and the TigerBelly company alleged that Wondery committed a breach of contract when they canceled a multi-year ad sales and distribution deal for TigerBelly, claiming that Wondery was “under pressure to cut expenses and roll back its financial commitments” when it sent TigerBelly a termination notice in early April, shortly after the Tijuana controversy drew national attention. According to Lee, the notice cited a breach of a “morals clause,” which he and TigerBelly believe to be a distraction intended to obfuscate Wondery’s attempts to get out of an expensive deal during an economic downturn.
Since the Tijuana controversy went viral in March, Lee has made public apologies for the anecdote, claiming on an April 5 episode of TigerBelly that the entire story was a complete fabrication stitched together from multiple different stand-up bits he’s told at different points in his career. It is unclear whether Wondery sent TigerBelly the termination notice for their 39-month contract before or after the apology, but, regardless, Lee and his company claim that the grounds of the termination are unlawful — according to Lee, he never agreed to a “morals clause.”
Morals clauses are provisions within a contract to curtail behavior that could create scandal and reputational damage for the parties involved. Lee’s lawsuit does not dispute Wondery’s supposed assertions that Lee breached the morals clause by telling the story repeatedly for almost a decade — it simply says that Lee never signed one in the first place, and that Wondery would have known about the Tijuana tale when they agreed to terms in December 2022. Lee and TigerBelly intend to take the case to trial, seeking multiple millions of dollars in damages.