High school basketball coach sues parent for more than $1 million in libel case

EMBED </>More Videos

The head varsity boys' basketball coach at Westlake High School is suing a former player's parent for more than $1 million for libel. (KABC)

The head varsity boys' basketball coach at Westlake High School is suing a former player's parent for more than $1 million for libel. The coach says the parent had a personal mission to destroy him.

Sully Clark played varsity basketball at Westlake High School from ninth grade through 11th grade under head coach Robert Bloom.

Clark did not play for the team in his senior year. In his lawsuit, Bloom claims his former player's father Jim Clark rained malicious attacks and insults on him.

The lawsuit states: "Clark's emails were vicious, personal and ugly and were intended to destroy Bloom."

Bloom claims the attacks were motivated by Clark's belief that his son was a star basketball player. Bloom says Clark complained his son wasn't getting enough playing time.

"That wasn't even an issue, ever. None of the concerns was about playing time," said Clark.

Clark says his son and other students worked without pay in a summer camp run by the coach. He says that's the issue he was upset about.

"The biggest concern we had was about kids, including my son, being mistreated over a period of years by this coach, and the nexus of it was how he treated and controlled kids that worked for him," Clark said.

The lawsuit also says Clark claimed that Bloom was "under investigation for fraud, child abuse and willful intent to violate child labor laws."

"We think this could have been problem-solved just at the building or certainly at the district level," said Clark.

The libel suit is expected to be taken up in court in April.


Related Topics:
lawsuithigh school sportsWestlake Village
(Copyright ©2017 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.)