While Bethenny Frankel was still part of The Real Housewives of New York City cast, she introduced to viewers and the other housewives her Skinnygirl Margarita, which was a low calorie version of the widely enjoyed alcoholic beverage. After she exited the series she retained representation from a Los Angeles-based agency called Raw Talent to help her find a distributor for the recipe. Bethenny and Raw Talent were successful in selling the Skinnygirl Margarita to Beam Global (which is the spirits company that manufactures Jim Beam bourbon and Sauza tequila) for something like $120 million. But now, the partnership has gone south and Raw Talent is suing Bethenny in L.A. Superior Court for $12 million (10% of her $120 million deal with Beam Global) and $100 million in punitive damages.
Raw Talent's argument is that its co-president, Doug Wald, met Bethenny in 2008, and she told him she wanted to have her own reality show. Wald alleges he then introduced Bethenny to some agents at APA, who represent reality stars. Raw Talent's complaint against Bethenny says she signed with APA on August 7, 2008 and hired Wald as her personal manager (which meant Raw Talent would get 10% of anything she earned) and as the lawsuit states, "she expressly represented that any agreement relating to the exploitation of the Skinnygirl Cocktail Brand would be commissionable under their their management agreement." Wald also says he introduced Bethenny to David Kanbar (formerly of Skyy Vodka), who created a business plan with Bethenny to help her recipe get purchased by a distributor. Afterwards, Ward says Bethenny fired him in November of 2008, just before she signed the deal with Beam Global and failed to pay him or his company for their efforts in helping Bethenny get her own reality show and a distributor for her Skinnygirl Margarita.
Obviously this is a mess and technically, it's not very nice of Bethenny to cut Ward and Raw Talent out of the earnings that they clearly helped her get. However, if she can prove that she fired Ward and ended her relationship with Raw Talent specifically because they were bad for her business, then she might have a chance at not having to pay anyone $112 million. However, it's pretty clear she owes Raw Talent something (my Christopher Meloni desktop picture assures me that is so).
Sources: THR, THR
February 21, 2002 12:52pm EST
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Sean Connery will star in Fox's upcoming comic-based film League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He will play Quatermain, a British explorer.
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Oscar nominee and pop singer Sting has signed a deal to write his first book of narrative nonfiction, the AP reports. The Bantam Dell Publishing Group expects to publish the hardcover book by 2004.
Top morning news anchor Katie Couric isn't shy about the reality of her job. People reports Couric told New York Daily News that she's unhappy with her new Today show boss, Jonathan Wald, and that "the hours are brutal."
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Kristanna Loken will be the female lead in upcoming Arnold Schwarzenegger film T3: Rise of the Machines, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Production will begin April 15 in Los Angeles. Loken currently plays a recurring character on ABC's Philly.
Kylie Minogue and Dido were the musical champs Wednesday with two awards each at the Brit Awards. Sky News reports Minogue won for Best International Female and Best International album, and Dido won for Best Female Performer and Best Album. Destiny's Child picked up the award for Best International Group.
Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer (Top Gun, Pearl Harbor) and the White House have teamed up for a new TV reality show called Profiles from the Front Line, which is scheduled to air sometime this summer, Reuters reports. The program will focus on men and women in uniform on actual battlefields and is being produced with "unparalleled support" from the U.S. Defense Department.
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People reports Dawson's Creek co-stars James Van Der Beek and Kerr Smith have popped the question to their girlfriends, Party of Five actress Heather McComb and MTV's Undressed personality Ali Hillis, respectively. No wedding dates have been set.