Lisa Kudrow testified on Thursday against a former manager who handled her affairs during her days as a Friends star. Scott Howard claims the actress owes him 5 percent of her earnings between 1991 and 2007. Howard filed the suit against Kudrow back in 2008 and the case has been making its way through several courts.
The Friends star--known for her hilarious role as Phoebe Buffay--spent about two hours on the stand in a Santa Monica court room on Thursday. Sources say she had a lighthearted, pleasant demeanor throughout the questioning. She became offended at one point, however, when Marc Baute--Scott Howard's attorney--claimed "when she was making money she signed written agreements," but when it was about someone else making money she didn't. Baute even indicated at one point that she was behaving like Phoebe Buffay--rather air headed.
Per her testimony, Lisa Kudrow told the court she started on Friends making $13,500 per episode. In 2000 her pay had increased to more than a million dollars per episode in addition to $5 million in "back-end compensation." She still makes money from the show, which ran from 1994-2004.
The lawsuit alleges that Kudrow agreed verbally to pay Howard a commission on all of her earnings she made during their business relationship. She claims that she agreed to pay him commission based solely on one round of residuals.
Howard replied, "I can’t agree. I don’t do that for any of my clients."
Lisa Kudrow says she kept Howard on as more of a formality, noting that she didn't really need him any more. She didn't believe he should make the same kind of money as agents so she reduced his take from 10 percent to 5 percent instead.
"My intention was I didn’t think it was fair that Scott got more than the agents," said Kudrow. "I felt like the attorneys did so much towards making these deals that it seemed fair that no one got a higher share than the attorney."
By 2007 she determined she didn't need Howard's services at all. She said she was initially pleased with his energy but the relationship had soured.
"I know for sure that once I was on Friends, I didn’t love having him come to every taping," she said.
It was then that Lisa Kudrow fired Scott Howard.
Approximately $8 million is at stake in this court case, with Howard determined he deserves her post-termination commissions. Kudrow opposes that.
It will certainly be interesting to see how this law suit turns out. Will the Friends star suddenly find herself $8 million poorer? Or will former manager Scott Howard walk away sans what he believes is his fair commission from the TV and film star?
Do you think Lisa Kudrow owes her former manager this money?
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