Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s character on Game of Thrones is known as the Kingslayer, but the actor today is trying to put a legal end to what he calls a “sham” agreement with his former manager.
“The only real factual dispute in this case is the timing of the Defendants’ dishonesty,” says the multi-claim complaint (read it here) filed Friday against Jill Littman and her Impression Entertainment. “On the one hand, Defendants may always have harbored a secret intent to hold Coster-Waldau to the terms of the documents submitted with Impression’s 0-1 Visa Applications, but misled him to believe that they shared his understanding (fostered by Defendants) that they were ”sham’ agreements of no legal significance,” the jury trial seeking compensatory and punitive damages and declaratory relief seeking document adds of the oral deal between the parties.
As is the usual deal, Coster-Waldau — who plays Jaime Lannister on the blockbuster HBO series — was supposed to pay Littman 10% of his earnings, including from Game of Thrones until it ends, which will be in the next year or so – or not.
“Defendants later determined, after Coster-Waldau terminated the Oral Management Agreement, that it was in their self-interest (at Coster-Waldau’s expense) to falsely claim they were ‘ real’ agreements and that enforcement was always their intent,” attorney Michael J. Plonsker asserts for his now WME repped client over Impression’s alleged “disloyal and fraudulent conduct.”
Like many a Hollywood moneymaker before him, Coster-Waldau, thinks he doesn’t owe Littman any of his GoT big bucks or anything else since he canned her company back in 2015. As the two sides also battle over arbitration, what makes this a bit more complex than the usual Tinseltown commissions dust-up is that the Danish-born actor was self-admittedly helped by his near decade long relationship with Littman in getting the immigration paperwork and approvals that allowed him to work in America and take his career to the next level.
First in 2011 and then again in 2014, Coster-Waldau inked agreements with Impression to execute receiving those hard to get visas. Signings that the actor says he was misled on the real possible power of. “Based on Littman’s representations and omissions, Coster-Waldau signed the 2014’ Sham’ Document without reading it and with the understanding- intentionally created by Defendants – that it was to be used solely as supporting documentation to accompany Impression’s second Visa Application on his behalf and would have no effect on the Oral Management Agreement,” today’s complaint for declaratory relief, fraud in the execution/inception, breach of fiduciary duties and reformation of contract. As a part of that Coster-Waldau wants a TRO against the arbitration that Impression says should determine the matter rejected.
That temporary restraining order attempt was rejected by the courts today and sees the private arbitration continue.
Impression Entertainment did not respond directly to request for comment for Deadline. However, in a declaration submitted in LA Superior Court in the case, Littman made her POV clear. “I am disappointed that, in addition to reneging on his contractual obligation to pay Impression for the hard work for which he expressed his gratitude many times, he has chosen to try to publicize our issues instead of to abide by the arbitration agreement to which he willingly and knowingly consented,” she said in the July 27 document.
Littman and Impression are represented by Howard E. King of LA firm King, Holmes, Paterno & Soriano, LLP.
Back for its seventh and penultimate season with a record breaking July 16 debut, Coster-Waldau and the rest of the Emmy winning Game of Thrones team wrap up their David Benioff and D.B. Weiss executive produced run with six final episodes. That eighth season of the series based on George R.R. Martin’s books is expected to air in either 2018 or 2019 – which, based on pasted similar cases, may be before this matter is resolved.
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