Former Friends star Lisa Kudrow has been spending time in court this past week, as a defendant in a civil trial against her previous manager Scott Howard. Currently, Kudrow is being sued by Howard for $1.7 million dollars.
Kudrow was one of the stars of the quintessential 90’s television series Friends, portraying the lives of twenty-somethings making it in New York city. While on the hit show, Kudrow played beloved character Phoebe Buffet, known for her quirky personality, offbeat humor and of course her beloved song “Smelly Cat”. The series which was on-air from 1994 to 2004 and has been in international syndication worldwide for several years has made Kudrow into a household name worldwide, as well as a multi-millionaire. At the beginning of her career on Friends the actress was compensated with $13.500 for each episode she acted in, but as the show gained popularity and along with several contract negotiations, her salary rose to $1 million dollars per episode. After the series came to an end in 2004, Kudrow has been in several other productions including films P.S. I Love You and Easy A, along with her original internet series Web Therapy. Lisa Kudrow is now being sued by her former manager for $1.7 million dollars of her large fortune.
Scott Howard, Kudrow’s manager from 1991 to 2007 has claimed that the actress refused to pay him over $50,000 in commission fees that he was entitled to due to an oral agreement that the two made in 1991. Howard states that the actress verbally agreed to pay him a commission of 5 percent for all syndicated episodes of Friends, even after his termination as Kudrow’s manager, yet Howard says he hasn’t seen a dime of this money. Howard filed for this lawsuit in 2008 and has since been pursuing legal action in hopes of receiving payment.
The 50-year-old actress is defending herself in this civil court case which started this past Wednesday Feb. 19 in Los Angeles. While the actress has declined to speak to the press concerning details of the case, Kudrow declared in a court statement that after she terminated her working relationship with Howard she had no legitimate outstanding obligations to pay him.
While this case has been receiving high amounts of press attention, Kudrow is not the only actress who has gone to court with a former manager. In 2012 actress Julianna Margulies, one of the stars of the popular television series The Good Wife, was sued by her managers as they claimed she owed them over $420,000 in commissions. Similarly, child-star Melissa Joan Hart, who made her debut in Clarissa Explains It All and then gained popularity as the star of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, was also sued by one of her managers. In 2011 Hart was taken to court by her talent manager who claimed that he did not receive sufficient commission as stated in an oral contract between the two, from the show Melissa and Joey, which Hart starred in.
As this trial is still underway no definitive solution has been reached yet in the case in which Lisa Kudrow was sued by her former manager Scott Howard for $1.7 million dollars.
By Allison Longstreet