Allen sues friend

Woody Allen has sued producer and longtime friend
Jean Doumanian, alleging
that she cheated him out of profits from the last eight movies they made
together, the Associated Press reports.

According to the lawsuit, Doumanian’s production company, Sweetland Films,
refused to give Allen
regular and accurate financial information about his film’s earnings.
Allen‘s company, Moses Productions Inc., should have received
half the “adjusted gross proceeds” of the movies,he alleges.

According to The New York Times, Allen‘s business manager, Stephen
Tenenbaum, had urged Allen to examine the financial accounts of the films he
had made with Doumanian in the 1990’s, such as Small Time Crooks and
Bullets Over Broadway. At the time, Allen was reluctant to do so
because he trusted his friend of 30 years, who had been producing his
films.

In May, Allen sued Ms. Doumanian in Manhattan’s State Supreme Court,
/Woody_Allen/186127>alleging he did not know how much Doumanian and
Sweetland Films owed him because he never received any financial information
about the film’s earnings.

Their first production agreement, dated Aug. 1, 1993, is the only proof of
their deal in writing. The remaining five were oral agreements or based on
the contract for the first three, the lawsuit said.

Their agreement entailed that Allen earn a salary for each film as well
as a percentage of the profits after the film’s costs were recouped. Allen‘s
associates, however, reported that the writer/director was willing to enter
into a new arrangement, in which he would not earn money beyond his salary
until the films’ investors were paid back.

Reps for Allen have told the Times that the lawsuit conflict has
escalated on both sides. Leslee Dart, Allen‘s spokeswoman at
PMK, said Allen is “very upset” by the rupture of his relationship with Ms.
Doumanian.

Robert Greenhut, a producer who worked with Allen on films such as Annie
Hall
and Manhattan, said, “It’s amazing that Woody has taken this
long to say, ‘Where are the dollars and cents?'”

In response, Ms. Doumanian has denied the charges against her. Her lawyer,
Bertram
Fields, said
Doumanian would supply Allen money for his movies and her story would emerge
in court. “To have him turn and bite that hand at this stage is, in my
opinion, reprehensible,” Fields told the publication.

According to Reuters, Doumanian is moving on with her New York production
shingle. On Thursday, she named a new vice president of production, Eric
Falkenstein, who will develop and package projects for Doumanian’s
production company and its emerging-talent banner, Blue Dog.

Even though Doumanian denied commenting on the suit, she told Daily
Variety

that her own company’s growth is a mark of her interest in expanding into
other media.

“We want to do more TV,” Doumanian said. “There are 500 stations, and
somebody has to give them content.”

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