SeaWorld Lawyer Warned Ex Trainer Not to Publish Book

posted Apr 9, 2015, 8:55 PM by Jeffrey Ventre   [ updated Apr 9, 2015, 9:03 PM ]

SeaWorld Lawyer Warned Author of ‘Beneath the Surface’

As described in the Times of San Diego

A lawyer writing on behalf of SeaWorld warned former killer whale trainer John Hargrove against disclosing “confidential information” in his then-upcoming book “Beneath the Surface.” Attorney Lawrence Iser, in a 580-word letter to Hargrove in mid-November, said SeaWorld didn’t consent to use of such information in the book and demanded that he “immediately certify, in writing and under oath” that he wouldn’t divulge company secrets. The letter was provided to Times of San Diego by Hargrove on Wednesday.

Last week, when Hargrove described the letter as a threat intended to block the critical book, SeaWorld spokesman Fred Jacobs said: “We never threatened Hargrove with a lawsuit.”Hargrove signed an employee agreement in February 2008 but not the “declaration” demanded by SeaWorld in the Nov. 13 letter from Iser.  Was the letter a threat of legal action?

... Experts with Californians Aware, a journalist resource group, saw a threat in the letter.

“Yes,” said a representative of CalAware, which mainly focuses on government transparency. “It states that a book about his experiences with SeaWorld would violate the nondisclosure agreement that bound him as an employee and continues to bind him as a former employee, and that SeaWorld intends to take legal action to enforce the agreement.”

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