Smiley was a guest on Kelly’s podcast recently, where Kelly challenged him about his ideas on poverty.
However, Smiley was not pleased with Kelly’s remarks and in response decided he wanted his former employee to be unable to mention his name again.
Smiley’s representation from Browning & Browning law offices sent Kelly a “cease and desist” letter the next day, asking that Kelly end any form of communication about their client whether it’s via his blog, his podcast, or even Twitter.
Morris W. O’Kelly (Mo’Kelly) has been very vocal against Smiley’s and Cornel West’s national anti-poverty campaign called the “Poverty Manifesto Lecture Series.”
Kelly defends his stance saying, “I took issue with his process. We all have a moral imperative to reduce poverty and I accept that. But Tavis has no plan, no program, no would-be law that he’s pushing. His premise does not validate his process and that’s what I was arguing about.”
Despite receiving the letter, Kelly does not plan on discontinuing his conversations about Smiley, claiming that Smiley is “super-sensitive.”
His lawyers are also claiming that Kelly violated a privacy agreement he signed when he was employed as a producer on Smiley’s TV show from 2005 to 2010.
However Kelly denies this, saying, “I have a podcast available to everyone to hear and review. There was no privileged or proprietary information divulged and everything discussed on the air was factually accurate and readily available to the public.”
Going on to say, “Smiley has made himself considerably wealthy over the years criticizing public figures. Smiley is not in any way comfortable with being criticized, although he, too, is a public figure. I highlighted the glaring contradiction given the methodology of his ‘poverty tour.”
Smiley has not released a statement on the report.
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