College to pay writer $26,000 for rescinded invite

AP News
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Posted: Oct 15, 2014 3:30 PM
College to pay writer $26,000 for rescinded invite

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — A California community college agreed to pay Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black $26,050 for rescinding a commencement speaking offer after a stolen sex video emerged online of the "Milk" writer.

Officials at Pasadena City College withdrew the invitation because of concerns about the school's image but invited Black back after he wrote a letter in the student newspaper hinting at legal action. Black ultimately delivered the May 9 address at his alma mater.

The day before the speech, then-President Mark W. Rocha signed an agreement to pay Black $26,050, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday (http://lat.ms/1CneRF9 ).

The deal was never announced publicly and both sides agreed not to discuss it extensively, according to the settlement obtained by the Times through a Public Records Act request.

Eduardo Cairo, president of the school's Academic Senate, called the payment a misuse of public funds.

"We're extremely disappointed to hear that has happened," he said.

Black received a $3,000 honorarium for speaking. He also won a $100,000 judgment against the person who sold the sex tape that was posted online.

Black did not immediately return a message from The Associated Press seeking comment Wednesday. Trustees either declined to comment or did not respond to inquiries from the Times.

A school spokesman said in a written statement that the issue had been resolved and there would be no further comment.

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Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com