Jerome Karam Officially Files for “Defamation, Extortion”

After lengthy discussions with his team of lawyers, Jerome Karam of JMK5 Holdings plans to officially sue for defamation and extortion against the attorneys that represented a woman accusing him of sexual assault.

The move is the latest development in a back-and-forth legal battle that stems from allegations made by former nightclub waitress Ashlynn Moore.

Causing a Stir on Social Media

Ashley Moore is a former waitress at the Jungle Br & Adult Adventure Nightclub owned by Jerome Karam’s company, JMK5 Holdings. According to a series of TikTok and Facebook posts, Moore accuses Jerome of assaulting her in a massage room at the Mainland City Centre. JMK5 Holdings also owns this property.

After hearing the allegations, Jerome sued Moore in February 2022 for $100 million. Jerome has denied all allegations, and he feels as though the accusations have done permanent damage to his name, reputation, and company.

A few months later, Ashley Moore responded with a countersuit to the defamation lawsuit against her. Seeking $1 million, this lawsuit detailed some more specific allegations against Jerome.

She mentioned groping as her central allegation, which would not qualify as sexual assault under Texas law. Despite that, Jerome‘s team is unhappy with the different terms associated with their client about the lawsuit.

A Rare Defamation, Extortion Lawsuit Against Moore’s Attorneys

Jerome and his team of lawyers looked over the countersuit and decided to respond with a lawsuit against Ashley Moore’s attorneys. 

Jerome Karam and his company, JMK5 Holdings, have formally accused the Akers Firm, Daly & Black, and all lawyers associated with Moore’s case of defamation. He also claims they attempted to force a significant payout through extortion.

The two terms cited as most problematic online include “sexual predator” and “sexual assault.” Linking these terms with Jerome Karam, specifically online, has altered his reputation, family, and company.

As a local redeveloper with 1,000,000 ft.² of commercial space in Galveston county alone, a hit to his reputation like this can cause many problems with current and future deals. That’s why his new lawsuit is for multi-million dollars, although no exact amount is available.

Jerome Karam and his team remain very frustrated with the casual allegations from a team of lawyers talking to the media and the public. They believe this behavior should not be treated lightly, and they should face financial punishment for what they’ve done. 

The cost associated with the lawsuit is an attempt to cover the damages to Jerome and his reputation. 

An extortion letter was also brought to the attention of lawyers in the defamation lawsuit. Specifically, Brock Akers of Akers Firm is the one mentioned. 

He was quoted as saying such things as “public of all this will become,” “once it’s filed, most surely it will capture the attention of the media,” and “it will be anything but quiet” when referring to the possibility of no early settlement.

Jerome’s team of lawyers wants these allegations to be taken seriously, even if cases like this are rare. Suing attorneys for slander and defamation can be challenging, but the team feels they have a case against the behavior shown.

Jerome Karam’s Impact in Galveston County

A picture of a landscape sunset of Galveston, Texas, where Jerome Karam has many redevelopment projects.

The amount of commercial and residential redevelopment linked to Jerome and JMK5 Holdings is significant in the area. The three most prominent include Mainland City Centre in Texas City, Falstaff Brewery in Galveston, and Gulf Greyhound Park in La Marque.

Mainland City Centre

The Mall of the Mainland went from a central part of the Galveston County economy to a ghost town. Jerome Karam redeveloped the mall into a more modern Mainland City Centre. 

Not only is it frequently visited by Texas City residents, but it’s an easy stop off the highway for anyone driving through.

Response to the Mainland City Centre has been overwhelmingly positive from opening day. Instead of a nearly vacant shopping plaza acting as an eyesore, it’s become an economic boost.

Falstaff Brewery

Jerome Karam purchased the over 120-year-old building to bring it back to life after sitting vacant for several years. The historic location of one of the biggest breweries in the United States is now home to a self-storage facility, an event center, and a 110-room hotel. The surrounding area has also rebounded nicely after redevelopment. 

Many were initially worried about what would become of the building, as some developers considered knocking it down and starting new. JMK5 Holdings doesn’t take that approach with their projects.

Gulf Greyhound Park

Still under development is the new event venue, the former home of Gulf Greyhound Park. Closing at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jerome has plans to make it one of the top venues in the region for all types of entertainment. Once completed, it will be one of the most significant projects for JMK5 Holdings.

There’s no official announcement on when the project will be complete, but Jerome feels confident in the overall response from the public in the end. 

Gulf Greyhound Park will always be a part of the community, but Jerome Karam wants to build off that history and bring in a new era of entertainment.

What’s Next for Jerome Karam Legally?

Jerome continues to work hard and take on new projects with JMK5 Holdings. The more significant challenge right now is attempting to navigate the legal back-and-forth involving the allegations.

There’s been no formal response yet from the attorneys representing Moore. It’s impossible to predict how this will all play out, but Jerome  Karam knows he’ll have to put in additional work to resolve everything.

Jerome continues to stand by his side of the story that he is innocent. Without formal charges, Jerome believes there will be a chance to get his reputation back with his side of the story out there. Local news outlets in Galveston Country will pick up any new information on the legal side of things.