Pasadena City College leaders have agreed to pay Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black nearly $26,000 not to sue the school after it rescinded an invitation for him to be the commencement speaker earlier this year, it was reported Wednesday.
The agreement was reported by the Los Angeles Times, which said it had obtained a copy.
A college trustee originally asked Black, who graduated from the school in 1994 and wrote the screenplay “Milk,” to address graduates during their May 9 graduation, The Times reported.
But other college leaders withdrew the invitation, saying they were concerned that images from a stolen sex video with Black that had been posted on the Internet could harm the school’s reputation, according the school’s student newspaper.
The recording was stolen from Black’s former boyfriend, The Times reported. Black won a $100,000 judgment against the person who sold the tape to websites.
In an open letter published in the student newspaper and elsewhere, Black hinted that he was considering legal action over the slight, according to The Times. Trustees later apologized for their actions and reinvited Black, who delivered the commencement address.
The day before Black’s speech, then-college President Mark W. Rocha signed an agreement to pay Black $26,050 to not pursue future legal claims, The Times reported. The college and Black also agreed not to extensively discuss the deal in public, according to the agreement.
Black also received a $3,000 honorarium for speaking, according to paperwork provided to trustees.
Black signed the agreement March 12, according to the documents obtained by The Times through a Public Records Act request.
—City News Service
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