Former Metro FM host Pearl Modiadie has been slapped with a countersuit after she alleged sexual harassment during her time at the SABC radio station and took legal action.
Modiadie’s allegations of sexual harassment at the hands of Antony Sogolo, the former Metro FM manager, were publicised after emails were leaked. This was one of the reasons she left the station.
In June, news reports detailed inappropriate comments made in emails by the Metro FM manager about Modiadie’s appearance as well as statements loaded with many sexual innuendos.
Sogolo has hit back and lodged a R1 million counterclaim for loss of income and reputational damage, City Press reported.
Sogolo’s claims against Pearl Modiadie
In legal papers, Sogolo denied the sexual harassment allegations and revealed that they cost him a promotion at the SABC.
Sogolo wrote that he accepted a five-year contract offer on 4 June and was set to start on 1 July. The contract was worth R1.1 million a year. However, as a result of the allegations, he received a letter from the SABC informing him that the broadcaster was no longer willing to employ him.
“The conduct of the plaintiff [Modiadie] violated Sogolo’s constitutional right to being presumed innocent until proven guilty. The plaintiff psychologically affected the second defendant. In August 2021, he started attending counselling sessions with a psychologist,” the legal papers stated.
He has demanded R600,000 for trauma and a further R1 million for reputational damage.
The former manager said once he realised that his remarks were offensive and demeaning to Modiadie, he apologised and felt the issue did not need to go to court.
In one email thread in which Metro FM’s marketing team was trying to finalise the logistics for an upcoming appearance by Modiadie, the team asked the event organisers: “When do you need Pearl on stage and for how long?”
The manager was CC’d and responded: “Yho since we are there, can I also get asked that question? When do you need Pearl and for how long … you are Pimpsta of the year. Sorry guys but that was really funny.”
Modiadie registered her objection to the statement in writing, adding: “I don’t find the response funny at all. This is highly inappropriate. I’m asking about a job that I’ve been booked for by the station and you are taking it in a completely different direction. This is not the first time you’ve made such comments where I’m concerned and I will not take it anymore.”
Sogolo apologised in the emails and said it would never happen again. Modiadie took the station to court, making a claim of R3.5 million against the SABC after they dismissed her sexual harassment complaint.
The Citizen reached out to Modiadie’s team and a representative, Charmagne Shongwe, said this was a legal matter and they would not be making any comments.