Ex-Management Sues Leah Remini for Commissions for Her New ABC Sitcom
Actress Leah Remini‘s old management helped get her a lead role on the long-running sitcom The King of Queens and in movies like Old School, but according to Remini her current management had nothing to do with landing her latest sitcom role.
Management firm The Collective is suing Remini for the standard 10% agent commission for each episode of her latest series, Family Tools, which is set to debut in May on ABC. The Collective claims that Remini agreed to an “oral contract” in November 2011, which is about a month after entering into a talent holding deal with ABC. According to the suit, The Collective agreed it would not take commission on Remini’s $330,000 “holding fee” or $165,000 “advance talent fees,” but would collect commission on any subsequent deals with ABC. However, on October 26 Remini fired The Collective (the suit alleges “without warning or justification”) and has refused to pay the commission fees.
Her attorney, Marty Singer, claims that The Collective had nothing to do with Remini landing the role, and even claims that its services were not competent (adding, “among other things, her manager falling asleep during important business meetings and failing to forward important network correspondence”). Singer claims that since her deal with ABC predates her association with The Collective, Remini has no obligation to pay the commission fees.
Remini is earning $100,000 per episode of Family Tools — ten of which have already been filmed — and will receive 4 percent raises in each subsequent season. In its suit, The Collective claims it is owed $67,000 in commissions from those ten episodes plus 10 percent of her pay on any future episodes.
The lesson here? Seems like this is something that could have easily been cleared up in a written contract.