UPDATE, 10:32 PM: You say I owe you money? I say you owe me money! In a statement from his lawyer late tonight, that’s essentially the response of ex-Relativity TV boss Tom Forman to UTA just hours after the uberagency went after him in court on Thursday with claims of commissions that their former client hasn’t paid them.
“UTA’s lawsuit against Tom Forman is overreaching in the extreme,” says attorney Michael Kump of uberfirm Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert LLP of today’s action by the uberagency. “It is UTA that owes Tom, not vice versa,” Kump adds.
“When Tom was a client of UTA, the agency grossly overcharged him and failed to provide him with an adequate explanation of the basis on which it was charging him, or an accounting supporting the commissions,” he goes on to say of the relationship that ended in late 2015. “UTA’s commission practices were never consistent with the parties’ agreement or custom and practice within the industry. To make matters worse, UTA is also now seeking to commission two employment agreements that UTA had nothing to do with and that Tom entered into after terminating UTA as his personal agent,” Santa Monica-based Kump asserts for his producer client. “We look forward to exposing UTA’s conduct and recovering what Tom is owed.”
Expect this battle of the 1% over 10% to get a lot less polite very soon.
PREVIOUSLY, 5:26 PM: You want representation? We want our 10 percent. That’s pretty much what UTA is saying in a new lawsuit against Tom Forman, the producer whose roots are in reality TV but recently has focused on such scripted fare as Limitless, The Case of: JonBenét Ramsey and the upcoming Zach Braff comedy StartUp.
In its succinct six-page suit filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court (read it here), UTA claims the defendant — who also was CEO of Relativity TV — and his Forman Productions haven’t paid commissions since 2015. They were signed as clients in summer 2008, and their deal covered the standard 10 percent of Forman’s producer earnings. The suit says Forman spoke with agency personnel by phone in October 2015, and “during that conversation, Forman informed Plaintiff that Defendants thereby were terminating the Forman Agency Agreement.”
A few days later, the suit says, UTA wrote a letter to Forman confirming the termination but “stating that Plaintiff was ready, willing and able to continue to provide talent agency services in the event Defendants so desired, and stating that Plaintiff remained entitled to collect commissions on consideration received by Forman on all commissionable engagements.” UTA says it has “duly demanded” that Forman pay up on owed commissions. “Nevertheless,” the suit alleges, “Defendants have not paid any of the amounts due.”
Charging breach of contract and unjust enrichment, the lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and interest, along with a written accounting of all money Forman and his company received during the agency agreement. Attorneys Bryan J. Freedman and Steven B. Stiglitz of Freedman & Taitelman LLP in Los Angeles are representing UTA in the case.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.