Steven Fabrizio, then the general counsel of the Motion Picture Association of America, was arrested in Northwest DC on Friday for second-degree sexual abuse and blackmail. The news was first reported by Variety.
Fabrizio, long a prominent communications lawyer in Washington, is accused of assaulting a woman he met on a dating website for sugar daddies, and threatening to tell her employer, landlord, and family about their encounters if she didn’t agree to continue having sex with him. According to the arrest affidavit in this case, Fabrizio was arrested previously in DC for sexual solicitation in 2010. At that time, he was a partner at the law firm Jenner & Block. (A Jenner spokeswoman said the firm had “no knowledge about any arrests relating to Mr. Fabrizio.” He left the firm in 2013.)
The affidavit lays out a series of harrowing allegations. The alleged victim says she met Fabrizio on the site SeekingArrangement, which connects rich “sugar daddies” with “attractive individuals seeking to enjoy a luxurious lifestyle.” After exchanging messages on the site, Fabrizio met the woman at her apartment in Northwest on August 19 and gave her $400 after they had sex. Though the affidavit calls their encounter that day consensual, the woman described Fabrizio as “scary and rough” during the sex, and said she “bawled her eyes out” after he left. The next day, when Fabrizio messaged her, “Still horny for you,” and said he was planning to stop by, she told him she did not want to see him again. Fabrizio allegedly would not relent, sending her a number of messages, including: “Don’t be like that. I know where you live. I know where you work.” And: “How are you going to explain to your landlord that you used this apartment to have sex for money?” He allegedly told her: “I can also find out anything I need about you from your phone number. My phone is a disguised line. I bet yours is not.”
The victim eventually gave in, agreeing to meet Fabrizio again if he promised to delete all of their exchanges. Per the affidavit, he responded: “It’s more exciting knowing you have no choice, is it?”
During their second meeting, she alleges in the court document that Fabrizio grabbed her by the hair, bent her over her bed, and forcibly penetrated her even though she told him to wait. After he left her apartment, he immediately began sending more messages, such as: “I’ll leave you alone for now. But I’m going to text in a couple of weeks and tell you I’m coming the next morning.” The woman called 9-1-1.
In consultation with police, she continued communicating with Fabrizio, who sent additional threatening messages, including one in which he showed her that he’d found her parents’ names and phone number. The woman set up a third meeting with Fabrizio for Friday, August 23, at 11 AM. This time, when he arrived at her apartment, police were there to arrest him.
Reached for comment, the MPAA says, “These charges, if true, are both shocking and intolerable to the Association. We had no prior knowledge of this behavior before these charges were publicly filed.” Fabrizio has been fired, the MPAA says.
*This story has been updated to include comments from Jenner & Block.