Quibi, the no longer available streaming service founded by Hollywood mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg, wants to know if Elliott Management Funding a patent lawsuit however, was motivated by a personal relationship between the billionaire founder of the hedge fund and a top manager.
In a letter filed late Thursday, Quibi questioned a romantic relationship between Paul Singer, Elliott’s founder and managing director, and an employee whose son is employed by Eko, the interactive video company that claims Quibi stole trade secrets.
“Elliott’s motivation to participate in the lawsuit appears personal,” the file said.
Quibi’s lawyers in Los Angeles federal court demanded access to communications between Elliott and Eko, as well as statements from Singer, 76, and his girlfriend Terry Kassel, 70, who is also Elliott’s head of strategic human resources.
Kassel’s son Stephen Backer has a managerial position at Eko, according to the file.
The backer did not immediately respond to requests for comments.
Elliott busted the filing on Friday as Quibi’s desperate attempt to diverge from the issue at hand. “The irrelevance of Quibi’s focus on personal affairs in order to produce a false narrative about Elliott’s role in this case shows that Quibi is unwilling to delve directly into the actual underlying legal issues,” said Richard Zabel, Elliotts General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer.
“Elliott has chosen to fund this lawsuit because we firmly believe Eko will enforce claims that Quibi stole his valuable intellectual property.”
An Elliott spokesman declined to comment on the personal life of Singer, a high-profile and notoriously private financier and policy giver valued at an estimated $ 3.6 billion, according to Forbes.
A source familiar with the matter told The Post that the CEO’s relationship with Kassel took place prior to the Quibi and Eko saga litigation. The couple have been in a committed romantic relationship for about a decade, and their relationship is well known to the people of Elliott, this person said.
As The Post exclusively reported last year, Quibi has taken the unusual route to fight the patent lawsuit of Hiring private investigators Singer and Eko founder Yoni Bloch.
Ex-Eko employees who took calls from Quibi’s private eyes said investigators focused not on the technology, but on Bloch’s leadership style, Eko’s work culture and internal disputes that may be brewing beneath the surface.
Eko sued Quibi in March 2020 because of the app’s “turnstyle” function, which viewers could use to play different videos depending on the position of their phone – vertically or horizontally. Eko claimed the feature violated his technology, which Quibi denied.
Quibi only started around in April during the height of the pandemic Closure six months later, This is Hollywood’s biggest flop in the recent past.
But the lawsuit continues to meander through the court and that of Singer Elliot financed the suit for Eko, who gave the hedge fund a stake.
“The discovery will show whether Elliott’s stated confidence in Eko’s claims is based on evidence or on forgery and a personal favor,” Quibi said.
Quibi argued to summon Singer and Kassel in a file filed earlier this week. Elliott has resisted these efforts.
The TIT-FOR-TAT offers a rare glimpse into Singer’s private life. Professionally, he is known to go to extreme lengths to get back to his investments, including what was in 2012 when Elliott grabbed A historic Argentine naval ship struggling to get back around $ 600 million in bonds it bought as Argentina was on its way to default in 2001.
Elliott also plays an important role in what is known as litigation funding, or litigation funding, to collect the profits.
Katzenberg and Quibi partner Meg Whitman raised $ 1.75 billion from investors to start Quibi, which brought high-production shows on the go in less than 10 minutes. Quibi drew stars like Liam Hemsworth, Jennifer Lopez and Kevin Hart for his short-form episodes, as well as investments from Disney and NBCUniversal.
The app sold its content library to video streaming company Roku for less than $ 100 million last month.