Terrence Howard is fighting a new legal battle. His former talent management firm alleges that he has breached an oral contract by failing to pay over post-termination commissions.
The complaint was filed by Authentic Talent and Literary Management in Los Angeles Superior Court. In short, they claim he owes several hundreds of thousands of dollars with the payment allegedly due likely to rise.
According to a new report, Authentic Talent was hired by Howard in 2013. In the lawsuit, they claimed to have helped play
a key role in the resurgence of Howard’s career. In addition to defending Howard and providing professional, personal, and other advice and career guidance to him, along with Howard’s talent agents at the preeminent talent agency CAA, Plaintiff was an integral part of many discussions with Howard that led to his acceptance of the starring role of ‘Lucious Lyon’ on EMPIRE that had previously been procured for him by CAA.
They allege that they were fired by Howard, but the firm now asserts entitlement to 10 percent of all gross revenue he received from entertainment industry employment obtained during the time of representation. Most notably, they claim that this covers his work on Fox’s hit series, Empire.
According to the complaint, Howard has a contract to star on the show for seven seasons. Authentic wants a cut for the full term of this deal pursuant to promises as well as
custom, usage, and practice in the entertainment industry.
The lawsuit states that the actor confirmed multiple times, including in a September 2014 email, that he would be paying post-termination commissions. Howard and his loan-out company are said to now dispute that they owe any further commissions in connection with Empire.
Authentic retained Mathew Rosengart. The attorney previously represented Sean Penn in a defamation lawsuit against Empire co-creator Lee Daniels over comments comparing Penn to Howard. In that case, Penn took issue with the fact that he was being likened to a reported domestic abuser.
Now, Rosengart wants to impose a constructive trust on all payments received by Howard and, besides alleged breach of an oral contract, is asserting on behalf of his client claims of quantum meruit and unjust enrichment.
Authentic alleges that it intervened and saved Howard’s job when executives at Imagine Entertainment wanted to terminate the actor from Empire.