Former Friends star Lisa Kudrow lost a legal battle with her former manager, Scott Howard. On Tuesday, a California jury returned its verdict in a civil lawsuit filed by Howard against the actress in 2008.
Howard, who was Kudrow’s manager for 16 years starting in 1991, claimed that the Web Therapy star made a breach of contract when she failed to pay him an agreed percentage of her earnings on the immensely popular NBC sitcom, as well as other projects. During the court hearing, Howard declared that he and Kudrow made an oral agreement when he started managing her acting career, stating that he was entitled to 10% of the entire income she earned during their partnership.
After Howard and Kudrow parted ways in 2007, the actress allegedly stopped paying him residuals from the earnings she has been receiving from Friends reruns and merchandising. Howard’s lawyer Mark Baute said that his client’s cut amounted to more than $500,000.
Kudrow’s lawyer Gerald Sauer spoke on her behalf and said that they are going to appeal the decision to the higher court. In the mean time, the verdict orders Kudrow to pay Howard $16,000 a month in addition to the 10% she owes him while the appeal is pending.
Kudrow’s camp insisted that she was no longer responsible to pay Howard after they decided to end their business relationship because his position was only that of a manager and not an agent.
The 50-year-old actress started off as one of the lowest-paid cast members when she joined Friends in 1994. She initially earned just $13,500 per episode, but her fee skyrocketed to more than $1 million per episode during the final season in 2004. Kudrow has also starred in numerous films such as Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion and The Opposite of Sex. She currently stars in the improv comedy web series Web Therapy, which she also produces.
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