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Westlake H.S. Basketball Coach Files Libel Suit Against Parent Of Former Student

WESTLAKE VILLAGE ( — A basketball coach has filed a libel suit against the parent of a former student, claiming the parent made malicious and defamatory remarks about him.

Westlake High School coach Robert Bloom filed the libel suit against James Clark, seeking damages of $1 million, claiming Clark was dissatisfied with his coaching decisions.

The complaint, obtained by the Ventura County Star, alleges that Clark made vicious, personal and repeated attacks over the last few years that damaged Bloom's reputation.

The complaint pointed to several emails that Clark allegedly wrote to Bloom, the school and the district. The emails allegedly asked that Bloom resign and questioning his use of players at his nonprofit, Westlake Sports Camp.

But Clark tells KCAL9's Serene Branson that he had no personal vendetta against Bloom as is alleged.

"A parent group brought this up. It isn't about my son nor play time," Clark said. "It's about doing the right thing."

Clark's son, Sully, graduated five months ago.

Clark said he and other parents had raised concerns about the legitimacy of Bloom's nonprofit.

"They were required to go to a solicitation meeting during school, during school hours to work for a private program and common sense says you're not supposed to do that," Clark said.

Clark said he was concerned Bloom was making a sizable income from his nonprofit while the kids, he claims, were illegally underpaid counselors.

"My sense was that parents knew, didn't say anything because of this excessive control," Clark said.

CBS2 spoke with Bloom's attorney by phone, who said, this is a clear case of helicopter parenting but with emails to prove it.

Both he and his client, though, declined to be interviewed.

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