UPDATED: Talent agency demands its cut of the $4 million that Pauly D received for the last two seasons of the hit MTV reality show.
Jersey Shore‘s DJ Pauly D is being sued by his former talent agency ICM for allegedly refusing to hand over commissions from a deal to star on the MTV show.
ICM filed the lawsuit Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court against the reality star (real name Paul DelVecchio), alleging that it went to bat for him when MTV refused to compensate him after the successful first season. According to the complaint, “No deed goes unpunished, however, and DelVecchio ultimately terminated the representation.”
After being fired by Pauly D, ICM now says he owes the agency $370,000 for the past two seasons of the show. The claimed commission figure is likely to go up, though, as ICM says it is entitled to commissions from Pauly D on at least the next season — the sixth — of Jersey Shore.
The talent agency says it got involved with Pauly D in 2010 and operated under an oral agency agreement for the first seven months of that year. In July 2010, Pauly D is said to have entered into a written agreement that entitled ICM to 10 percent of gross participation for Pauly D’s business opportunities, including those from his loan-out company, Blowout Enterprises.
Pauly D signed his first deal with MTV in June 2009.
ICM says that the following January, it procured an amendment to that agreement that increased Pauly D’s compensation and gave MTV an option for the reality star’s services for seasons 2 and 3 of Jersey Shore.
The agency got its 10 percent commission for the second season; after that, ICM says, it negotiated another raise for Pauly D with new options for season 3 and 4 of the show. Then came another salary bump, and MTV got options for seasons 5 and 6.
The complaint includes details about what Pauly D is actually making for Jersey Shore.
The third amendment to the MTV agreement meant that Pauly D got a $400,000 signing bonus and $100,000 for each episode.
For the fourth season — which included 12 episodes, a launch special, multiple “after-shows,” a reunion show, merchandising and bonuses — ICM totals $1.6 million of compensation due to Pauly D. The agency then includes $107,037 for contractual participations and a $200,000 “thank you” bonus, bringing Pauly D’s compensation tor season 4 of the show to more than $1.9 million.
Pauly D fired ICM on May 5. But ICM’s hand in Pauly D’s pocket continues as the agency cites the “standard custom and practice in the entertainment industry that talent agencies are entitled to post-termination commissions on all deals they negotiate for their client.”
That means even though ICM is no longer representing him, the agency wants commissions for season 5 (and possibly 6) of the show, where Pauly D’s compensation has been raised from $100,000 an episode to $150,000 an episode. Along with money due from after-shows, reunion shows, merchandising, etc., Pauly D is said to be entitled to $2.1 million from the fifth season, which ended March 15.
Pauly D, who now has a spinoff show on MTV, is said to be denying he owes ICM this amount. The complaint cites a letter sent in December by his lawyer, Hillary Hughes.
Hughes issued the following statement to THR: “We are surprised by ICM’s contention that it is due commissions after ICM was terminated in favor of William Morris Endeavor. ICM was paid for its services. It is even more disappointing that an agency like ICM would choose to take advantage of its former relationship with a client and disclose his confidential business affairs to the public in disregard of any duties it owes as a talent agency.”