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Sexual assault allegations are filed against Amazon Publishing head

August 28, 2013|By Carolyn Kellogg

Amazon Publishing executive Laurence Kirshbaum has been accused of sexual assault in a court filing by a woman with whom he had previously had a relationship, the New York Daily News reports. According to the filing, the alleged assaults took place  at two New York restaurants in 2010, before Kirshbaum took the top publishing spot at Amazon.

Papers were filed in Manhattan Supreme Court on behalf of the alleged victim, Teresa McCoy, 55. According to the filing, Kirshbaum, now 69, met with McCoy at a deli about a possible job offer for her and, while she was deciding what to eat, "the much physically larger Kirshbaum suddenly swooped down, grabbed her and forcibly stuck his tongue in her mouth, causing (her) neck to jerk back in excruciating pain.” Although she pushed him off, he then groped her, she alleges.

Kirshbaum's lawyer, Catherine Redlich, told the Daily News the assault allegations are baseless. They come, she told the paper, from a "consensual relationship from a decade ago which turned sour when McCoy began threatening Mr. Kirshbaum and his family with public embarrassment and demanding money."

That consensual relationship, which has since ended, began when Kirshbaum was heading up Time Warner Book Group. In the interim between that position and his job leading Amazon publishing, he was a literary agent.

In the second of the two meetings detailed in the filing, McCoy and Kirshbaum met at a midtown espresso bar. The alleged assault included groping, kissing, and the Daily News writes, Kirshbaum "performing oral sex on her in the restaurant."

In what the New York Post calls "a graphic new lawsuit," McCoy seeks unspecified monetary damages for "psychological and emotional injuries."


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