Herald Sun: Rival turns screw on adult awards

aaia.web.designer Media

AAIA Herald Sun 23.1.22 'No love lost as sex award rivals face off in court'
AAIA Herald Sun 23.1.22 'Rival turns screw on adult awards'
View article online: Herald Sun 23 Jan 2022

Re: Maxine's Australian Adult Industry Awards® - A.A.I.A.® (AAIA)
‘the other party’
Jake Ryan Media Group, the Adult Industry Choice Awards (AICA), Geoffrey Williams (AKA Sebastian Page and Geoffrey Page) – director Jake Ryan Media Group, Trent Livori (AKA Jake Ryan) – director Jake Ryan Media Group

Obviously, there is some confusion around the industry about another awards event planned for 2022, on the same date as ours. To clarify, the other party was served on Friday 24th of December with notification of our filing of a Statement of Claim with the Federal Court; a court date awaits them!

We had no choice but to instigate legal proceedings after our lawyer’s demand that the AICA cease using AAIA assets and return control of same was effectively ignored. Also, the assertion by the other party that they have rebranded the AAIA event into the AICA, which is obviously not the case, needs to be addressed by the court.

We have set aside substantial funds to prosecute the matter and our lawyers are confident of a positive outcome. We have, up until now, left the details of the legal action to the lawyers. However, we can stay silent no longer as the Adult Industry Choice Awards (AICA) and its partners are seemingly on a path to self-destruction.

With the directors of JRMG in open warfare, it seems inconceivable that the AICA event could possibly proceed with the 2 of them publicly denouncing the other’s business practises and seeking restraining orders against each other. Screenshots and links are available on request.

It appears that one of the (estranged) partners has control of the disputed socials (that were originally set up as AAIA socials), and the other seems to control bank accounts and the AICA website, although we can’t confirm this. We hope that either Geoff or Trent will clarify the situation, as well as inform the industry as to who is actually running the proposed AICA event.

As to emails from AICA, we are interested to know who is authoring them. As a result of their very public dispute, we are concerned that without clarifying the situation, and given the ongoing confusion regarding the status of the 2 events, our event, the AAIA, will be further damaged by any continuing confusion.

As previously stated, legal action is afoot.The dispute relates to AACA use of AAIA assets including, but not limited to irreplaceable mailing lists, photographic files and guest/nominee/winner lists, and the claim of being a rebranded AAIA event.

We understand the confusion, and with statements like that below being made by the other party, it’s not hard to see why that confusion exists:

It’s out with the old, and in with the new! New name, new look, and the same great team that has been running amazing awards shows for years now! Jake Ryan Media Group are (sic) pleased to present to you a refreshed awards night with all of your favourite industry peers and sponsors. 💎

Also, their statement that they intend to honour AAIA tickets purchased up to the 15th of November at their proposed event needs to be addressed.

For those of you who have purchased tickets to the 2022 Australian Adult Industry Awards up until November 15th – your tickets are now valid for the 2022 Adult Industry Choice Awards!

Our awards, the Australian Adult Industry Awards - A.A.I.A.®, is the only event that can lay claim to being the original Australian adult industry awards.

The other party continue to portray an association with AAIA by way of having AAIA branding on the (disputed) socials they are using and claiming on their website to be a rebranded AAIA event; clearly it is not! Also, the listing of past winners on the AICA website goes further to their claimed association and rebranding our event. Obviously, if the AICA event does miraculously run, it would be the first AICA event. The past winners listed on their website were winners of an AAIA award as can be confirmed by the wording on the trophies.

During discovery (a legal process whereby each party must provide relevant information about the witnesses and evidence they will present at trial) we will be seeking correspondence with any person/company that has paid money for sponsorship or tickets that, we believe, will confirm the other party have and continue to claim that their proposed event is a rebranded AAIA event.

Given that that their lawyer has to sign off that he/she believes there is a reasonable chance of defending the action, it wouldn’t surprise us if they don’t even file a defence to our Statement of Claim.

We continue in our move forward with organising this year’s event at the Hyatt Hotel, and hope to see you there.

Background - the facts:

Maxine had a business relationship with JRMG (the other party) from 2018 to November 15th, 2021. The other party claim there was a joint venture (JV) agreement in place to run Maxine’s awards, although have not produced any document to support this, nor have they outlined what they say are the terms of the claimed agreement.

Maxine denies any JV has ever existed but does confirm that both parties agreed that the other party would run the 2018 event to ‘get their foot in the door’, and then receive 50% of profits from subsequent events. We say this amounts to a management agreement, not a JV.

Finances for the 2018 and 2019 events we run through Maxine’s Tight Candy Pty Ltd, then, in 2021 the other party started running finances through their own accounts. The only reason given by the other party for this change was “it’s necessary because of COVID”. Maxine has been stuck in the USA during this time and has been unable to come back to Australia to sort the matter. Maxine is still trying to book a flight back to Australia.

NOTE: the 2020 event did not run due to COVID restrictions.

A dispute began during June, 2021. Due to that dispute, the other party declared they severed the (alleged) JV on or about November 15th, 2021. The other party then claimed they were rebranding the AAIA event, to the Adult Industry Choice Awards.

The other party hold extremely valuable IP (assets) belonging to Maxine, including, but not limited to irreplaceable mailing lists, photographic files and guest/nominee/winner lists.

After terminating the agreement, the other party continues to use the assets and funds (gained under the agreement), while operating a new business.

We say that assets gained under the agreement should have been returned once the other party stated they had severed the agreement.

The other party remains in control of AAIA social media accounts and have failed to hand back control of same, even after stating that they have severed the (alleged) JV. They are now using those social accounts to promote a ‘new’ event, while leaving historical posts that refer to events run under the alleged JV.

This is to say that they are using assets we allege are stolen from Maxine, to the complete exclusion of Maxine. This is not a situation where both parties have access to the assets; we have none.

The other party continues to use the assets to legitimise its position.

Considering the mailing lists, we are unable to contact former guests, nominees or winners.

The other party claim ‘some amazing new changes with the introduction of the new name and look of the awards event to ‘Adult Industry Choice Awards’, as well as claiming funds from ticket sales from prior to November 15th as their own, that they are the ‘longest running event’, and all the while inferring that their new event is actually a ‘rebrand’ of Maxine’s event.

To further demonstrate Geoff’s character, Maxine’s car has had the registration transferred to JRMG, without her permission.

In fact, the police have confirmed that the ‘stolen’ car belongs to Maxine and that Geoffrey Williams has been told as much by the police, in no uncertain terms. Further, he has been informed that if the car is damaged in any way, moved or hidden prior to Maxine’s return to Australia to take possession of the car, he, Geoffrey Williams will be arrested and charged relating to theft by deception.

We look forward to seeing the other party’s proposed defence, and hope this clarifies the situation.

Should you have any questions about this matter, please email [email protected].

Share this Post