A radio host in New Orleans said he received an anti-gay slur, sent to him from the radio station's Twitter account. On Wednesday, WWL host Seth Dunlap, who is openly gay, said he planned to sue the station's parent company after working for years in a homophobic and hostile workplace. In a strange turn of events Thursday, the New Orleans Police Department said the homophobic tweet sent to Dunlap came from none other than Dunlap's phone.
The tweet in question was sent earlier this month and the day it was sent, Dunlap hosted his show as usual. But the next day, he announced a leave of absence, CBS affiliate WWL-TV reports.
In a statement, Dunlap said 14 people had access WWL's Twitter account. He claimed he was not one of the people with access to the account.
However, he decided to take a polygraph test to dispel any speculation that he was the one who sent the tweet to himself, his lawyer Megan Kiefer, said. A lawsuit has not yet been filed on Dunlap's behalf, but he said in his statement that one would be coming, according to WWL-TV.
WWL Radio, which is a CBS News Radio affiliate but is owned by Entercom, said in a statement it had investigated the tweet and decided to refer the matter to law enforcement officials. "WWL has completed its investigation into the highly offensive, unauthorized tweet sent from WWL's Twitter account on September 10, which directed a homophobic slur at Seth Dunlap," said WWL Radio in a statement.
"We determined that the most appropriate next step is to involve law enforcement. At this point, the investigation is in the hands of law enforcement and it is not appropriate for us to comment any further on the substance of our findings," the statement continue.
The New Orleans Police Department opened their investigation into the tweet and in a police report Thursday revealed a twist in the story: The homophobic slur was allegedly sent from Dunlap's personal cellphone.
WWL accused Dunlap of threatening the station for money, NOLA.com reports. WWL alleged the 35-year-old radio host said he would "scorch the earth" over the tweet and then demanded over $1.8 million in compensation. According to a police report obtained by NOLA.com, WWL said Dunlap made this threat when he was facing personal financial issues.
The allegations were made by WWL's senior vice president Kevin Cassidy and attorneys for the parent company, Entercom. The police department is still working to corroborate the allegations, but have classified the case as possible extortion. In the state of Louisiana, extortion is defined as "the communication of threats to another with the intention (to) obtain anything of value."
CBS News has reached out to WWL as well as the New Orleans Police Department for more information and a copy of the police report.
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