The Legal Battle Between Sarah Stage and Unruly Agency Is A Tangled Mess

“Unruly functions as nothing more than an online pimp,” alleged a lawsuit filed in California Superior Court by Instagram model Sarah Stage against Unruly Agency in February. In the seven months since it hit the courts, the proceedings have taken more twists and turns than Colossus with Stage and her attorney now being sanctioned by the court for abusing the statute they tried to use to refute Unruly.

Stage’s initial complaint included nine causes of action, including breach of contract, breach of good faith and fair dealing, intentional misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, misappropriation of name and likeness … the list goes on.

Unruly filed a cross-complaint against Stage for breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, intentional and negligent misrepresentation. 

Text messages show Stage was along for the ride and was willing to do “anything to make $35k a month” on OnlyFans. Documents show in one message, she complained about only making $39 for the day, in another she offered to shoot more sheer lingerie photos and in another she also said she would perform a sexy strip tease with another model but no kissing.

After this damning counterclaim with evidence, Stage filed a Special Motion to Strike or an anti-SLAPP motion, which claims her freedom of speech is being jeopardized by Unruly as a result of the counterclaim. “The Cross-Complaint is further evidence of Unrulys intent to bully Ms. Stage—this time, by attempting to chill her free speech,” the documents assert.

When did showing a court actual evidence become bullying?

Stage claims that her statements affect “millions of influencers” but, according to the filing, offered no credible evidence of this, in fact contradicting her initial declaration emphasizing that she only had private conversations with a few models about how unhappy she was personally. 

The court found the anti-SLAPP to not be supported by evidence because Stage’s alleged speech and conduct do not involve a public issue or an issue of public interest. The court denied her motion to strike.

“Stage’s motion appears to be frivolous; the Court will set a hearing to determine that issue and whether attorney’s fees and costs should be assessed against Stage,” reads the documents, putting her on the hook for Unruly attorney and court fees.

The Court goes on to say that “the appellant’s special motion to strike “is an example of the ‘disturbing abuse’ of the anti-SLAPP statute and [a]ny reasonable attorney would agree that appellant’s special motion to strike was ‘totally and completely without merit.’”

In another turn of idiocracy, Stage’s attorneys filed the wrong paperwork to appeal all this, failing to hire a court reporter to document a statement of settlement—and now have driven this back to another hearing on November 2.

Story developing …