Mar 19, 2019

Amanda Schmitt appealed the dismissal of her lawsuit against Artforum and Knight Landesman.

Knight Landesman. Photo by Aaron Davidson/Getty Images.

Knight Landesman. Photo by Aaron Davidson/Getty Images.

Amanda Schmitt, the art fair director and former Artforum staffer who in October 2017 sued the magazine and Knight Landesman, its co-owner and former publisher, is appealing the dismissal of her case. On Monday, Schmitt’s lawyer, Emily Reisbaum, filed an appeal contesting New York State Supreme Court Justice Frank P. Nervo’s December 20, 2018 decision dismissing the case against Landesman and the prestigious art magazine he co-owns. Schmitt’s lawsuit, originally filed in October 2017, accused Landesman of sexual harassment and slander.

Because the statute of limitations for events that allegedly occurred during her employment at Artforum (from 2009 to 2012) had already passed, Schmitt’s case revolves around a May 2017 confrontation with Landesman in a restaurant. Judge Nervo ruled that the five-year span between Schmitt’s departure from Artforum and that 2017 encounter was “sufficient to eliminate any nexus between her employment and the alleged acts.”

On Monday, Resibaum filed an appeal under New York City’s Human Rights Law, according to Hyperallergic, which reads in part:

In dismissing Schmitt’s claims against [Landesman and Artforum]—for retaliation, defamation and slander, promissory estoppel, and gross negligence—the lower court failed to credit her allegations, ignored the affidavits she submitted in opposition to Respondents’ motions, made inferences in Respondents’ favor instead of in Schmitt’s, and misapplied the law, leading to this appeal.

Schmitt’s lawsuit, filed in October 2017, came on the heels of the sexual abuse accusations against Harvey Weinstein and marked the first high-profile #MeToo case implicating an art world power player. Schmitt, who serves as the director of programming and development for the Untitled art fair, was featured in Time magazine’s 2017 “Person of the Year” feature, “The Silence Breakers.”