Ex-BigLaw partner shown in tirade videos sues influencer for allegedly destroying his career
TikTok screenshots show social media influencer Robert Harvey and a listing of cases in which lawyer Allan A. Kassenoff was the lead counsel for Samsung, along with the tags @Samsung and @SamsungUS. Images from Kassenoff’s Sept. 5 lawsuit.
A former Greenberg Traurig partner has sued a social media influencer for allegedly posting “false, defamatory and misleading videos” that sought to depict him as an abusive father and spouse.
The former partner, Allan A. Kassenoff, sued influencer Robert Harvey in a Sept. 5 lawsuit for allegedly destroying his life, as well as the lives of his three minor children, who appeared in the videos without their faces blurred.
The videos showed Kassenoff yelling, telling then-wife Catherine Kassenoff that he hates her and regrets ever meeting her, calling her a “fat, old loser” and declaring that he won’t take their “spoiled” daughter to school or activities.
The suit also said Harvey instructed his followers to “bombard” Greenberg Traurig and one of its biggest clients, Samsung, with emails, phone calls and social media attacks, which caused Kassenoff to lose his job. And the suit said Harvey instructed his followers to target Kassenoff’s New York divorce lawyer, Gus Dimopoulos, who is also a plaintiff in the new suit.
Kassenoff resigned from Greenberg Traurig in June, after the law firm investigated the situation arising from a four-year divorce and custody battle. Kassenoff had been a shareholder in the patent litigation group.
Harvey is the former media director at a Pensacola, Florida-based personal injury firm.
The suit delves into the couple’s deteriorating relationship and airs claims that it was Catherine Kassenoff who was unfit to parent.
Catherine Kassenoff had claimed to have terminal cancer in a May Facebook post announcing her plan to die by medically assisted suicide. But the diagnosis claim did not appear to be true, the suit said. Allan Kassenoff said he checked with his wife’s oncologist, and she did not have cancer at her most recent annual appointment in November 2022.
Catherine Kassenoff apparently had mental illness, according to an affidavit by a former nanny in divorce litigation that was cited in the new suit.
The nanny allegedly told Allan Kassenoff that his wife had asked her to drip water on the face of the couple’s weeks-old baby to keep her awake during the day, in hopes that she would sleep through the night. The nanny also claimed that Catherine Kassenoff played favorites with the children, barring the unfavored child from playdates, giving chores only to her, restricting her food treats, and telling her that she would never have friends.
Another nanny submitted an affidavit in prior litigation that criticized Catherine Kassenoff’s treatment of the unfavored daughter and said Allan Kassenoff was nice to all his daughters and was never violent with them. The nanny said Catherine Kassenoff really pushed Allan Kassenoff in his emotions, and she wanted the girls to see how angry he could become.
After Allan Kassenoff filed for divorce, he and his wife at first shared custody of the girls, with each parent trading off caring for them in the marital home. Allan Kassenoff was later awarded sole legal and physical custody of the children. Catherine Kassenoff’s visits with the children were to be therapeutically supervised.
A judge in the case determined that Catherine Kassenoff made false allegations of abuse against Allan Kassenoff, engaged in manipulative conduct, tried to alienate the children from their father, and lacked insight into how her actions were detrimental to the children.
According to the suit, Harvey falsely told his followers that he had done his due diligence regarding the facts in the Kassenoff matter, and that everything he said was fact. His alleged false statements include that Allan Kassenoff physically and emotionally abused his wife and his children, that police reports and child protective services confirmed the abuse, and that Allan Kassenoff was awarded custody because of a corrupt court system and his payoffs.
The suit alleges defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, tortious interference with a business relationship, and cyberstalking. It seeks an injunction preventing the uploading of new videos and barring new comments about Kassenoff and his lawyer. The suit also seeks $150 million for Kassenoff and $5 million for each of the three children.
Greenberg Traurig told Bloomberg Law in a statement that Kassenoff resigned June 11.
“This is an unfortunate situation for the family but we have no additional comment with respect to the claims,” the firm said.
Lawyers for Harvey said in a statement he is “committed to vigorously defending the meritless claims” in the suit.
“Harvey aims to protect not only his own constitutional rights but also those fundamental principles upon which this nation was founded—the right to freedom of speech and the freedom of the press,” the statement said.
“Harvey operates as a member of the media, utilizing his social media platform to investigate and report on critical issues of national significance. This includes shedding light on what he perceives as the troubling practices prevalent within family and matrimonial courts across the country, particularly in New York (and in this case, Westchester County).”
The statement said the suit is an attempt “to rewrite history.”
“Harvey views these allegations as a spiteful revenge lawsuit in an attempt to silence him and his reporting about Catherine Kassenoff’s torturous plight throughout her divorce from Mr. Kassenoff,” the statement said.
Catherine Kassenoff told her side of the story in a Facebook post and placed documents, pictures, recordings and videos in a folder available to the public. Harvey was made aware of the matter through his followers “and then opined and reported on it as a member of the press,” the statement said.
Harvey is represented by the Davidoff Law Firm and the Law Offices of Aaron Resnick.
Updated Sept. 9 at 10:25 a.m. to include the statement by Robert Harvey’s lawyers.