Not every gag on Howard Stern’s radio show can be a winner, but one recent bit is actually getting a number of people in trouble. As reported by Page Six, a weird confluence of events somehow resulted in The Howard Stern Show obtaining audio of a woman named Judith Barrigas calling the IRS about an old tax refund from 2014, and it aired the audio—and Barrigas’ phone number—without getting her approval.
It all comes from Jimmy Forsyth, the IRS Agent that Barrigas spoke to, who had apparently tried calling in to Stern’s show shortly before taking the call from Barrigas. He was put on hold, and either because lines somehow got crossed or he used a different phone to talk to Barrigas and the other picked up the audio, the people at Stern’s show suddenly found themselves listening in on this woman’s boring IRS discussion.
Once the show started airing the audio, Barrigas began getting a bunch of phone calls and texts from Stern fans, and now she’s suing Howard Stern and his production company “on grounds of unlawful invasion of privacy and negligence.” She says she had an “out-of-body experience” when she realized what had happened, and she feels “terribly violated” to know that her phone number and personal information “is out there.” Barrigas has apparently “had difficulty sleeping and eating” since the incident and “has sought treatment as a result.”
Also, the IRS wouldn’t admit that this had happened until Barrigas got the media involved, and now it has announced that Forsyth has been placed on “administrative leave” and that it is “reviewing the matter.”