Ryan Braun's former associate, who sued the Milwaukee Brewers slugger for fraud and slander last year, has posted a video recording of his deposition on YouTube, and Braun's attorneys are trying to force him to take it down.
Ralph Sasson, a 29-year-old law student who was friends with Braun from childhood until a falling out two years ago, posted a 90-minute portion of his seven-hour deposition in which he details the machinations behind Braun's successful appeal of a positive performance-enhancing drug test in 2011.
Sasson sued Braun, his agent and Creative Artists Agency in August, alleging Braun's agent, Nez Balelo, reneged on a nondisclosure agreement between the parties that had been reached after Braun's group paid Sasson $5,000 for his work on Braun's appeal. The payment had been the center of a long-standing dispute between Sasson and Braun.
In the deposition, Sasson repeats his accusation that Braun used steroids at the University of Miami when both men were students there. He also goes into great detail about how he tried to get paid the $5,000 from Braun, who has a contract with the Brewers through 2020 for $145.5 million. In the deposition, Sasson relays various attempts to gain payment -- from cajoling to demanding to threatening legal action, from phone calls to texts to in-person visits -- from Braun's agent and Braun himself.
The lawsuit has been under seal since January and was dismissed last month. Sasson, who is representing himself, is appealing the dismissal and wants to test both the merits of the lawsuit and the seal itself.
"I posted this video to challenge court's invalid seal and to test the boundaries of the seal," he wrote in an email to "Outside the Lines." "Given the seal's vague language, as well as its overbroad restrictions and applications, the seal is invalid."
Sasson said defense attorneys have demanded that he remove the video and that the court hold him in contempt.
Stephen Kravit, a Milwaukee attorney who questioned Sasson in the deposition, said: "The official CAA and Balelo position is we have no comment about any of this."
Sasson, who hopes to pursue a legal career, clearly relishes the fight. In a Wednesday email exchange he provided to "Outside the Lines," Sasson writes to Kravit, "I hope the court takes this joke of a motion seriously so I can wipe my posterior with it. ... You want me to destroy all copies of my [deposition]? The copies I paid for? How about this: I'll destroy my copies after you let me foreclose on your home. Those copies belong to me. You want an ex parte order to deprive me of my property? Go read the constitution pal and stop smoking whatever it is you're smoking. Or at the very least, share some with me because it's def some real good stuff. You're making a fool of yourself, steve. There's something called due process and due process ain't those little droplets of water that form on the grass in the early hours of the spring morning. Get a grip."
Braun won the PED-violation appeal after successfully arguing that the agent who collected Braun's urine sample violated MLB drug policy by keeping the sample at his home for two days rather than leaving it in a Milwaukee FedEx facility over the weekend before it could have been shipped. Braun admitted he had violated the policy last year when he was connected to the Biogenesis doping scandal and subsequently accepted a 65-game suspension.
Asked whether he plans to take the video down from YouTube voluntarily, Sasson said, "I have no plans to take any further action at this time. However, I remain prepared to respond to any challenges the defendants may make before a court of competent jurisdiction."