Several shocking new twists in the ongoing saga of an out gay radio host in New Orleans, and an anti-gay tweet posted by the radio station where he worked.
New Orleans police reportedly are investigating whether Seth Dunlap accessed the station’s Twitter account from his personal cellphone, and used it to send the tweet calling himself “a fag.” Lawyers for WWL Radio’s parent company, Entercom, are now also accusing Dunlap of extortion, a crime punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
WDSU-TV reports managers at the station told police that they hired a digital forensic expert, who concluded that the homophobic slur was sent from Dunlap’s own cellphone.
According to the website nola.com, the forensic expert, John Conroy, discovered the tweet was sent from an Internet protocol address associated with Dunlap’s cell. Conroy’s investigation involved examining the station’s “Internet system, software and hardware inside the company’s offices,” according to the police report obtained by nola.com.
According to WDSU, surveillance cameras show Dunlap was alone in his office with his door closed at the time the tweet was posted. Later, a video camera recorded him showing his cellphone to another station employee.
Entercom claims Dunlap threatened to go “scorched earth” over the tweet, according to the police report obtained by the website. Dunlap allegedly demanded more than $1.8 million in compensation. The police report indicates Dunlap is having financial difficulties. Managers at the station told officers they had been receiving “letters in the past few months regarding wage garnishment” for Dunlap’s personal debts.
A lawyer for Dunlap denied the accusations in a statement, saying the police report “does not contain any documentary or supportive evidence other than Entercom’s false, defamatory, and self-serving statements.”
Attorney Megan Kiefer stressed in her statement to Outsports that Dunlap took and passed a lie detector test and that her client “did not have access to the WWL Twitter account, nor did he have the password for same.”
She said he also “vehemently disputes” the extortion accusation.
“Last week, Entercom approached Mr. Dunlap to discuss settlement, stating that they had cleared Mr. Dunlap as the source of the tweet. The meeting was attended by Entercom counsel and its corporate lawyers. On September 24, Entercom interviewed Mr. Dunlap for over an hour before unethically, improperly, and illegally accusing him of extortion in order to scare him into accepting little to no compensation for the company’s actions. Incredibly, only after those settlement discussions broke down did Entercom refer this matter to the NOPD, which speaks volumes relative to their intentions.”
Kiefer said Dunlap welcomes the investigation. It’s unclear if or when New Orleans police will be interviewing him. His lawyer also claims WWL refused to provide detectives with documentation to support their accusations.
A spokesperson for Entercom did not respond to our requests for comment as of press time.