AFTRA gets more time to mull Brooks' offer

Attorneys agree to wait until Sunday for bankruptcy filing

AFTRA on Friday told producer Stanley Brooks they needed more time to consider is sweetened offer to settle outstanding claims from the 2008 Logo TV show "Sordid Lives," and attorneys for Brooks have agreed to hold off until Sunday at noon on filing for the bankruptcy of two of Brooks' companies.

Brooks sent AFTRA a letter early Friday with a passionate defense of his position and a history of his company and his financial troubles which he said stem from the bankruptcy of Axium payroll service during the making of the series, which he said cost his company $700,000.

Brooks noted in the letter he had paid all the original salaries and production costs and that the money he owed was from residuals, and penalties added after he failed to make certain payments. He gave the guilds until 5 p.m. Friday to accept his offer, or he said he would put his Once Upon A Time Films and Sordid Lives LLC into bankruptcy immediately.

"This last offer is nearly double what has been on the table in the past," wrote Brooks. "I've asked my family for assistance once again, to try one last time to find an equitable solution."

Brooks offer was about $500,000, which would be around 60% of what he originally owed; but a lower percentage when you factor in the penalties which raised the obligation to almost $1.5 million.

There were conference calls on Friday involving AFTRA officials and actors who appeared in the 2008 Logo TV series "Sordid Lives." They discussed Brooks offer and then decided they needed more time to discuss it and notified Brooks they would not meet his deadline to respond.

"AFTRA has informed Mr. Brooks' attorneys that we require more time to review the latest settlement offer with our members," according to a statement from Chris de Haan, a publicist for AFTRA.

Brooks side agreed to hold off the bankruptcy filing until Sunday at noon. AFTRA is expected to hold further deliberations on the matter over the weekend.

The Writers Guild of America West is scheduled to go into court Tuesday to certify its claims against Brooks. If that happens it would give the WGA preference in the case of a bankruptcy. Other guilds with claims at the DGA and the IATSE pension fund.

Brooks said in the letter he was imposing "a short window on the response so that neither side has time to fight this in the press, as has been the case up until now. Despite promises of confidentiality, the trade papers have somehow been provided every detail of every proposal (albeit not always accurately)."

"I am deeply saddened that it has come to this point. I have wanted to see you paid and have endeavored in every way I could to make that happen," wrote Brooks. "I wish we weren't at this point - but we are. If it's true that the cast has previously voted unanimously to only accept 100% of all residuals and penalties and interest - then I imagine your representatives will pass on our last proposal as well. When that happens, I will lose the company I built out of nothing. The industry will lose an employer of thousands of cast and crew. And you will not get what you are owed."
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