Lisa Kudrow has lost her lawsuit against her ex-manager, Scott Howard, and must pay him $1.6 million. Howard claimed that the money was due for the residuals during her time on hit sitcom Friends.
The final amount was considerably higher than the amount the star’s ex-manager believed due to him. He wanted $50,000 when he started the legal proceedings the year after he stepped down as her manager in 2007. The jury decided that more was due for the economic losses in the future, as well as the past.
During the court case, Howard explained that he and Kudrow agreed that he would receive 10 percent of her earnings. The problem was it was an oral agreement from 1991. The agreement did cover all the money she would make while he was her manager, and not just on the hit show. The actress paid him while they were working together, but stopped when they parted ways after 16 years. By that point, she had paid him $11 million, standing by her contractual obligations. His argument is that she continues to earn from past projects, including Friends reruns. The actress’ defense was that the two had parted ways and after that she no longer had an obligation.
While Kudrow will take the case to appeal, she has currently lost and must pay her ex-manager. The civil case was in front of a jury, who determined the star was guilty during a verdict given on Tuesday. The jury had to make the decision over the amount due, and took into account all future economic losses that could result from her decision not to pay.
There are questions over whether the appeal will stand. It is likely to take around two years according to Howard’s lawyer, Mark Baute. The interest on the amount being ordered to pay will grow over that time, and currently works out to be $16,000 per month. Baute believes that the appeal is “frivolous,” and will work out in Howard’s favor.
Kudrow’s lawyer, Gerald Sauer, believes that the actress has a good chance of winning at the appeal. He stated that his client believes the outcome will be in her favor eventually. He also put forward the argument that as her manager, rather than an agent, the actress does not have the contractual obligation to continue paying him the money. By ending the agreement, he has forfeited his right to any commission.
The actress appeared as Phoebe Buffet on Friends starting in 1994. It lasted 10 years where she went from one of the lowest paid out of the six main characters to one of the wealthiest. She started earning just $13,500 per episode but that jumped to $1 million by the time the show reached its last season in 2003. The actress earned $18 million within that final season. The information on the star’s earnings is based on City News Service and was reported by Huffington Post.
The case will continue through appeals, where juries and judges will need to decide whether the initial verdict was lawfully right. However, for now, Kudrow must pay the $1.6 million to her ex-manager, Howard.
By Alexandria Ingham