5:51pm PT by Ashley Cullins
Australian Company Sues Over Italian Fest That Was Canceled After Alec Baldwin Bailed
An Australian events company is suing a California talent broker, claiming it breached an agreement to secure a star for its Italian-themed festival.
EventCepts claims in August 2015 it entered into a written agreement with ONE Entertainment, which agreed to "secure and coordinate the services of actor Al Pacino to appear as the grand host and featured guest of an Italian cultural event known as La Dolce Italia Festival" set for the weekend of Feb. 26 in Melbourne, according to the complaint filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court.
The company agreed to pay ONE 300,000 Australian dollars, which is about $232,000 in U.S. dollars. (Or 400 million Italian lira.)
EventCepts paid 5 percent upfront, but Pacino fell through, the complaint states. So ONE offered up Alec Baldwin as a "suitable replacement." EventCepts agreed and paid another $62,000, although for Baldwin's services the companies agreed on a total payment to ONE of $198,000.
In the following months, EventCepts claims it advertised Baldwin as an attraction at the fest through radio, television and printed media.
In late January, the complaint states, ONE informed EventCepts that Baldwin couldn't attend the festival due to personal reasons. EventCepts responded by demanding a refund and ONE countered by offering Andy Garcia as a substitute for Baldwin.
But apparently Garcia, who is Cuban, wasn't a "mutually agreeable substitute" for Baldwin, who is of Irish descent, at the Australian La Dolce Italia Festival.
EventCepts canceled the event, refunded tickets and now is suing ONE for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, conversion and negligence and is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.
ONE Entertainment could not immediately be reached for comment.