By Alan Duke
LOS ANGELES (CNN) — The lawyer who filed a sexual battery lawsuit against John Travolta on behalf of two male massage therapist and then dismissed it is now suing another lawyer for allegedly stealing his clients.
The federal lawsuit was dismissed last week after one client dropped out after confusion over the date of the alleged incident and the second plaintiff fired attorney Okorie Okorocha and hired high-profile lawyer Gloria Allred.
The suit accused the actor of groping two male massage therapists at hotels in Los Angeles and Atlanta in January. Travolta’s lawyer, Martin Singer, called the allegations “ridiculous.”
Allred, who now represents both men, said she is considering refiling the lawsuit against Travolta in another court. She denied that she solicited them, insisting they contacted her.
“She’s either calling her client a liar or she’s lying,” Okorocha said Monday afternoon.
Okorocha filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior court Monday contending that Allred illegally and unethically solicited the second client — identified as John Doe #2.
“The solicitations included asking John Doe No. 2 ‘Are you happy with your representation?’” the suit said.
An exhibit attached to his complaint is a screenshot of a cell phone text message exchange he said was with John Doe #2 two days before the client fired him and hired Allred.
“Do you have the number Gloria Allred called from?” the image showed Okorocha asking his client.
“I will check my caller ID. It was on my home phone,” the client replied, according to the exhibit.
“She ain’t been in a courtroom in 20 years. Just doing stupid ass press conference side shows,” Okorocha, a lawyer who specializes in drunk driving trials, wrote in reply.
Two days before he was fired by John Doe #2, Okorocha told CNN that he believed Allred was trying to steal his client. She denied the charge that day,
“That is completely false,” Allred responded to a CNN request for comment that day. “I have never done that and do not have any idea who John Doe 2 is.”
Okorocha received a call two days later from that client telling him he was fired and that Allred was his new lawyer, Okorocha said.
“We believe that the lawsuit should be filed in another court and, therefore, the lawsuit was dismissed without prejudice,” Allred said last Thursday. “We will be conferring with our client regarding what will happen next in this case.”
Okorocha’s suit accuses Allred of intentional interference with contractual relations, intentional interference with prospective economic relations and unfair business practices.
“I get the case to national prominence and then someone who only does press conferences and sideshows, and doesn’t actually go to court or do trials, just steps in and says, ‘I’ll take the clients,’” Okorocha said in a CNN interview.
Allred called Okorocha’s allegations “false, outrageous and defamatory” and demanded a retraction.
She told CNN Monday that she would file a defamation suit against Okorocha if he sued her.
“Because both John Doe #1 and John Doe #2 contacted us,” she said. “As have all of our thousands of clients in the 27 years that I have been practicing law. And we have great confidence that we will obtain a judgment against him for defamation.”
CNN’s Anisa Husain contributed to this report.