Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone is suing Barstool Sports and controversial former Boston radio host Kirk Minihane for conducting a fake phone interview earlier this month in which Minihane fooled the mayor into thinking he was a Boston Globe reporter.
"I have filed a civil lawsuit in Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn against Kirk Minihane and Barstool Sports," Curtatone said on Twitter on Monday. "It's a straightforward complaint. Minihane recorded himself breaking the law, impersonating a Boston Globe reporter to obtain an interview with me, then Barstool posted the interview on its website."
Minihane fired back at Curtatone on Twitter, saying, "Look -- the important thing is the people of Somerville have a Mayor deeply concerned about city issues." He later added, "Legally, all I can say is I am looking at a countersuit. For $500 billion."
Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy also tweeted about the suit, asking, "Hey @JoeCurtatone what were the damages? You look like a bumbling idiot? Everybody knows that." He also pointed out that Minihane hadn't started working for Barstool when the parody interview took place.
In the interview, posted June 6 on Minihane's Twitter account and on Barstool's website, Minihane pretended to be Globe reporter Kevin Cullen, even mimicking a fake Boston accent. Minihane, the former co-host of the "Kirk & Callahan" morning show on WEEI, was recently hired by Barstool and his first podcast for the company premiered on Monday morning.
Curtatone said the recording is "a clear violation" of Massachusetts law prohibiting audio recordings of a person without their consent, which he said can't be obtained "through fraudulent means."
"Barstool flaunts its lack of respect for most things, but it needs to respect the laws that govern the business it conducts," he said. "This is a simple case of holding Minihane and Barstool accountable for their deceptive and illegal behavior."
In-depth news coverage of the Greater Boston Area.
Curtatone said he will donate any damages awarded from the suit to a women's shelter in Somerville.