“Friends” star Lisa Kudrow, who was sued by former manager Scott Howard has reportedly lost a $1.6 million lawsuit at the Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday.
According to reports, Howard claimed that the actress owes him a substantial cut of her earnings flowing from re-runs of NBC's blockbuster sitcom, “Friends.” The court ruled in favor of Howard stating that the actress was liable for breach of contract.
Howard and Kudrow had parted ways in 2007 after working together for 16 years. The legal dispute began in 2008 when Howard claimed that Kudrow had stopped paying him. Howard stated that the two had an oral agreement in which Kudrow had accepted to pay five percent of her earnings from continuous residuals of work negotiated during the time she was represented by Howard.
However, Kudrow, who played Phoebe Buffay in the long-running sitcom, reportedly said that she had agreed to pay Howard on only the first round of residuals. The actress also said that Howard was her manager and not an agent, and thus he is not entitled to a commission or any post-termination fee.
"The jury's verdict is merely one step in the legal process. This case ultimately will be resolved at the appellate level. Ms. Kudrow has faith in the judicial system, and she believes that the eventual outcome of this contractual dispute will be in her favor," Gerard Sauer, Kudrow's attorney, said.
In a statement cited by ABC News, Howard’s attorney Mark Baute said: "What generally happens now with unsophisticated actress clients is they overpay for filing a frivolous appeal that has no chance for success. The verdict is rock solid, and we look forward to collecting 10 percent, 16,000 dollars a month, in post-judgment interest while their frivolous appeal is pending.”
“We will collect that interest for two years, which is how long it will take for the Court of Appeal to affirm this jury's righteous verdict," Baute added.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, about $8 million could now be at stake for Kudrow. The trial will continue Friday.