Howard Stern sued for airing confidential call between IRS agent and taxpayer

Adjust Comment Print

Before taking Barrigas's call, Agent Forsyth had called into the "The Howard Stern Show", a long-running talk show airing on Sirius XM satellite radio.

The woman, Judith Barrigas, has filed a federal lawsuit in MA over the phone call that was aired in May 2015.

Barrigas says hundreds of thousands of people have heard her call already thanks to Stern, and that she received hundreds of phone calls about it in the days afterward, "leaving Mrs, Barrigas in a frantic, high anxiety state".

This conversation proved to be problematic as Howard Stern aired the call to millions, revealing a lot of details that he should not have unveiled to the public, including her phone number. While on hold, Forsythe took Barrigas' call and spoke to her for almost an hour about her issue. Add together how humiliating each of those confessions must have been, multiply them by ten and you still won't have half the embarrassment of having strangers overhear your financial secrets without your knowledge on The Howard Stern Show. The show's fans, either acting as a band of merry pranksters or attempting to save the woman further embarrassment, began calling and texting in droves to inform Barrigas of what was happening.

"Only upon notice from WCVB did the IRS begin an investigation into the matter and place Agent Forsythe on administrative leave", the complaint stated. The text messages informed Barrigas that her personal information and phone number was being aired live on the Stern Show.

"We are aware of this troubling situation, and we are now reviewing the matter", said the IRS.

Barrigas claims in the suit that she "has difficulty sleeping and eating since the incident, and has sought treatment as a result". The IRS says it doesn't comment on pending litigation but takes the confidentiality of taxpayer information very seriously.

Barrigas is suing the USA government, Howard Stern Production Company and Howard Stern.

Comments