Country music superstar Garth Brooks has filed a lawsuit that alleges fraud and breach of contract. The Tulsa World reported that Brooks’ former business partner, Lisa Sanderson, claims that “The Red Strokes,” a song from Brooks’ hit 1993 album “In Pieces,” was based on a poem that she wrote. Brooks later founded Red Strokes Entertainment Inc. to develop and produce film and television projects, and Sanderson says in her lawsuit that she was hired to help Brooks break into a movie and television career. The lawsuit claims that Sanderson started working with Brooks in 1994 with a promise of 50 percent of producer fees paid to the Red Strokes company for her work, in addition to her salary.
According to the World, Sanderson’s lawsuit claims that Brooks “kiboshed roles in the movies ‘Twister’ (1996) and ‘Saving Private Ryan’ (1998) because he wasn’t offered prominent enough roles, among other things.” Sanderson alleges that she was promised a $250,000 bonus “to compensate for loyalty and years of service” if she did not earn “millions” from her work with Brooks or if Red Strokes “ceased doing business for any reason while Sanderson was still employed there.” Her lawsuit seeks damages in excess of $850,000 for violation of labor laws and breach of oral agreement, plus unspecified punitive damages and attorney fees. A spokesperson for Brooks at Red Strokes Entertainment Inc. told the World, “Mr. Brooks, of course, denies everything in the lawsuit filed today by Lisa Sanderson.”
Brooks is not the only celebrity who has recently been accused of breaching a contract. On April 12, United Press International reported that Scott Hill from the Beverly Hills-based Scott Hill Bespoke Designs suit shop filed a lawsuit against Brooklyn Nets forward Kris Humphries for an alleged breach of contract. According to Hill, Humphries made an agreement with the store that he would receive a 30 percent discount on all their merchandise on the condition that he introduced two fellow NBA players to the store. While Humphries allegedly bought $46,000 worth of clothes using his new discount, Hill claimed that Humphries not only failed to live up to his end of the deal, but still owes the store $6,000 in unpaid bills.
On April 16, the entertainment website Radar Online reported that Philadelphia promoter Robert Capone was suing Mario Lopez, the host of the television entertainment news program “Extra,” for an alleged breach of contract after Lopez failed to show up for a paid appearance. Capone claims Lopez agreed to host an event in October 2012 for $15,000 and was paid an advance of $8,000, but Lopez notified Capone a little more than two weeks before the scheduled appearance that he would not be honoring the agreement because of “new commitments” that “just arose.” Capone is seeking damages in excess of $50,000.
Contracts exist to specifically outline what each of the parties involved expects from one another as part of their business relationships. While many of these recent cases involving celebrities are still allegations that may later be dismissed or settled out of court, the stories should still serve as a reminder to other individuals that you have the right to pursue legal recourse when another party violates a clause contained in a contract you agreed to. Additional information about contract disputes can be found on our website, and our Los Angeles breach of contract lawyer has more than 25 years of experience drafting contracts for clients throughout California. If you need legal representation in a contractual matter, fill out the form located on this page or contact our firm at (323) 405-1002 to let our Los Angeles breach of contract attorney review your case.
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