Lisa Kudrow Loses Lawsuit, Must Pay $1.6 Million
Lisa Kudrow of Friends fame lost the civil lawsuit her former manager filed against her. The jury awarded the plaintiff in the case, Scott Howard, $1.6 million. Howard filed the suit, claiming he was owed residual payment from Kudrow’s days on Friends.
In a 10 to 2 decision in favor of Scott Howard, the jury determined the actress is liable for breach of contract.
Howard was Lisa Kudrow’s manager from 1991 to 2007. He said during a court hearing that after 16 years of working together, she simply stopped paying him. His attorney argued on his behalf, saying he was owed a percentage of what she earned on Friends as well as from additional projects.
Lisa Kudrow’s lawyer Gerald Sauer made the following statement once the jury’s decision was read.
“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.”
Scott Howard’s attorney Mark Baute made a statement as well.
“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.”
Lisa Kudrow’s attorneys fought Scott Howard’s charges, saying she was responsible to pay him following the end of their professional partnership because he had been her manager and not her agent. That meant he was no longer entitled to any commission.
When Kudrow debuted in her role as Phoebe Buffay on Friends in 1994, she was one of the lowest paid of all the Friends actors, making just $13,500 per episode. When the show ended in 2004 she was earning more than $1 million per episode. It sounds like Scott Howard has just been cut a decent sized piece of that pie.
Image via Wikimedia Commons