Zooey Deschanel is being sued by her former manager for what could be millions of dollars. Seven Summits Pictures & Management, who represented the 35-year old actress from unknown in 1996 to Fox TV celebrity in 2013, claims the New Girl signed a contract granting them post termination commissions. More specifically, they are seeking 10 percent of her earnings from the sale of the entertainment website www.hellogiggles.com, which the Elf star co-founded and sold in October for between $20 and $30 million.
In addition to covering Deschanel’s entertainment activities for 17 years, the lawsuit claims the firm actually helped with the development of Hello Giggles. “As an excuse, Deschanel is claiming that the signature on the agreement is not hers, an allegation that is false, as indicated by the fact that Deschanel actually paid commissions pursuant to that agreement for many years,” the lawsuit reads. Seven Summits is also seeking unpaid commissions from a Tommy Hilfinger advertising campaign for which the 500 Days of Summer actress was spokeswoman.
The three-time Golden Globe nominee gave birth to her first child, daughter Elsie Otter Pechenik, back in July. She also recently starred opposite Bill Murray in the Barry Levinson directed film Rock the Kasbah. She is currently on maternity leave for the holidays while her hit sitcom returns in January with Transformers actress Megan Fox.
In response to the lawsuit, Deschanel claims it’s “absurd and completely meritless”. Her attorney Martin Singer claimed, “Seven Summits has no right to seek commissions from Zooey Deschanel’s completely unrelated sale of her investment in a purely entrepreneurial activity, Hello Giggles, which does not involve Zooey Deschanel’s activities or career as an artist in the entertainment industry.”
Singer further added the court case is in retaliation for a petition Deschanel filed with the California Labor Commissioner claiming Seven Summits and its principal Sarah Jackson acted as unlicensed talent agents. “I fully expect that the claims will be adjudicated before the California Labor Commissioner, and my client will prevail in this matter.” said Singer.
We’re really confident, whether it is through the labor commissioner or the Superior Court, that they will determine that when someone signs a written agreement, they have to abide by it.Seven Summits’ attorney Bryan Freedman claimed not surprisingly