June 15, 2012 11:08am PT by Matthew Belloni
Bethenny Frankel Settles $100 Million Manager Lawsuit (Exclusive)
Bethenny Frankel has settled the $100 million lawsuit filed by her former manager over revenue from the reality star/liquor mogul's burgeoning empire. The Hollywood Reporter has learned that a notice of settlement has been filed with a Los Angeles judge, who is expected to sign it.
As THR first reported in May 2011, Frankel was sued by Raw Talent, a Los Angeles-based management company, which claimed its co-president Doug Wald met the Real Housewives of New York and Bethenny Ever After star in May 2008. Wald said he helped her find an agent at APA and transition her from reality TV personality to the face of the lucrative Skinnygirl Cocktail empire. That allegedly included hooking her up with liquor industry veteran David Kanbar, who put together a business plan for a company that would buy the brand, use Frankel's celebrity to help market it and sell it in two years for a hefty profit.
But Raw Talent says Frankel fired Wald in November 2008, days before signing her deal to develop and market Skinnygirl. Frankel and Kanbar later sold the company in what The Hollywood Reporter called a $120 million deal.
Then Frankel allegedly refused to pay a percentage of her Skinnygirl earnings to the management company, a violation of her original representation contract.
"She expressly represented that any agreement relating to the exploitation of the Skinnygirl Cocktail brand would be commissionable under their management agreement," the complaint argued.
Raw Talent claimed it was owed 10 percent of that deal, or an estimated $12 million. Plus, the company demanded $100 million in punitive damages to make an example out of Frankel.
Terms of the settlement, which was negotiated by Frankel attorney Howard Weitzman and Raw Talent attorney Bryan Freedman, are not being made public.