Metro Weekly

Gay Meteorologist Fired Over Leaked Nude Webcam Photos

Erick Adame, who apologized for appearing on an adult cam site, is suing the site to reveal the identity of the user who outed him.

Meteorologist Erick Adame – Photo: Instagram.

A gay TV meteorologist based in New York was fired and is now in limbo, career-wise, after an unknown user forwarded nude photos of him performing on an adult cam website to his employer. 

Erick Adame, the Emmy-nominated weatherman for Spectrum News NY1, which is owned by Charter Communications, says he was suspended, and later fired, after someone sent naked screenshots of him to the higher-ups at the station, as well as to his mother, reports the news and entertainment industry website Deadline

In an apology posted to his Instagram page on Monday, Adame said he wanted to “share [his] truth” and set the record straight rather than have the story reported secondhand. He also said he is getting professional help for the “compulsive behavior” that led him to appear on the adult website.

“Despite being a public figure and being on television in the biggest market in the country in front of millions of people five days a week for more than a decade and a half, I secretly appeared on an adult webcam website,” Adame wrote in the post.

“I acted out my compulsive behaviors, while at home, by performing on camera for other men. It was 100% consensual on both of our parts. I wasn’t paid for this, and it was absurd of me to think I could keep this private. Nevertheless, my employer found out and I was suspended and then terminated.”

Adame also apologized to his employers, his co-workers, viewers, and family and friends “for any embarrassment or humiliation I have caused you.”

“As a public figure I recognize that I have certain responsibilities that come along with the privileges I enjoyed. But, let me be clear about something: I don’t apologize for being openly gay or for being sex-positive — those are gifts and I have no shame about them,” Adame wrote in the apology.

He added that he “had the job of my dreams and I lost it due to my own lapse in judgment. But, I’m optimistic, and perhaps naïve enough to think that I can be back on television and do this again someday,” noting that, as the son of working-class Mexican immigrants who was the first in his family to attend college, he had overcome odds by landing an on-air job.

Calling himself “adrift,” in terms of his life and his next employment opportunity, Adame — who was nominated for an Emmy for his coverage of Hurricane Ida and Tropical Storm Isaias — pleaded with potential future employers not to hold the webcam incident against him.

“I’d like to say something to the News Directors across the country — those who will make the ultimate decision on whether or not to hire me in the future: Please judge me on the hundreds, thousands of hours on television that I am so proud of and that my employers have always commended me for, and not the couple of minutes of salacious video that is probably going to soon define me in our “click-bait” culture,” he wrote.

Adame’s post has received over 6,600 likes since Monday, as well as a slew of supportive comments from NY1 viewers.

Sex and the City actress and former New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon has called on Spectrum News NY1 to rehire Adame.

“Dear @NY1 – yours is not to judge your employee’s private, consensual sexual activities, but how he reports the weather,” Nixon tweeted on Tuesday. “This looks and smells a lot like civil rights violation and as an LGBTQ NYer I am particularly troubled by it. Please reinstate Erick Adame now.”

State Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan) also defended the weatherman, tweeting: “Erick Adame is the victim of somebody wishing to do him and his family harm. It’s an outrage that @ny1 would fire him for private, consensual conduct and an affront to the #LGBTQ community that he’s not yet been reinstated.”

Adame has since filed a lawsuit in New York Supreme Court against Unit 4 Media Ltd., which owns the webcam site, asking the court for an order to compel the site to reveal the identity of the anonymous user — whose usernames include Sonal Prehonn, Tommysize29, Funtimes99, and Landonboy227 — who allegedly sent the nude webcam screenshots to his employer and family. He hopes to sue the sender, but needs their real name and identity to do so, according to the New York Post.

Adame’s crisis manager, Howard Bragman, of La Brea Media, told the Post that his client would love to be reinstated in his job.

“Call it crazy, call it naïve, call it far-fetched, but Erick would really love his bosses and the decision-makers at Spectrum to look at the overwhelming response on social media and traditional media and see that people really love him and give him another chance,” Bragman said. “His real dream would be to come back to the job he has always loved for the last decade-and-a-half.”

Bragman also called the webcam incident a classic example of “revenge porn,” adding: “Somebody recognized him and thought they would play God and share it with his employer and his family.”

Bragman noted that the number of Instagram users following Adame has more than doubled since his statement was posted, with more followers being added every hour.  

“If people really want him on the air, write to Spectrum, tweet to Spectrum, hit them up on Instagram and let them know you want Erick back,” Bragman said.

A source with Spectrum News told the Post that the situation “is more complicated than it appears,” saying the company had worked with Adame “for months on this issue” prior to his firing. The source did say, however, that the news channel is “supportive of him sharing his story.”

The webcam site CamSoda has also weighed in on the matter, with the company’s vice president, Daryn Parker, offering Adame a position as CamSoda’s “first-ever full-time meteorologist.”

“In 2022, no one should be punished, shamed, scrutinized, marginalized, or castigated for participating in consensual sexual behaviors. What you choose to do with your body is your decision and there should be no repercussions for that. I’m glad you didn’t apologize for being openly gay or for being sex-positive,” wrote Parker. 

“In return for serving as CamSoda’s Meteorologist and providing the news five days a week for one year — clothed, scantily clad, or entirely naked — we’d be willing to pay you a salary of up to $250,000,” Parker wrote.

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