5:22pm PT by Matthew Belloni
Reality TV Producer Drops UTA Romantic Conflict Lawsuit (Exclusive)
Just weeks before a scheduled trial, reality television producer Scott Einziger is dropping his lawsuit against United Talent Agency and agent Michael Camacho over an alleged conflict of interest related to a romantic affair.
Einziger, a former producer of Big Brother, filed suit in August 2011 claiming he is owed more than $10 million from UTA and Camacho because the agent allegedly steered him from the CBS hit to a risky job at RelativityReal, which was to be operated by Ellen Rakieten, a producer who was engaged in a "serious personal relationship" with Camacho.
The case raised interesting issues for Hollywood talent agents because while UTA would only receive a standard 10 percent commission from Einziger if he continued to work on Big Brother, "UTA and Camacho represented RelativityReal as a packaging agent and stood to obtain lucrative fees from projects developed under the auspices of RelativityReal that came to fruition,” the lawsuit alleged. Einziger quit RelativityReal in May 2011 amid what he called a "toxic" workplace, and Camacho allegedly dropped him as a client via text message shortly afterward. He claimed he lost "millions of dollars in compensation, career momentum and reputation" due to Camacho's alleged conflict of interest.
But now, on the eve of a scheduled October trial, Einziger has abruptly dropped the lawsuit. Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter a notice of dismissal is being filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, and the following Einziger statement has been provided to THR:
"Michael Camacho and UTA represented me competently and diligently as my talent agent for many years. As my agent, Michael and UTA always acted with my best interests in mind. In addition to being a trusted advisor, Michael was a friend.
As sometimes happens in a relationship, we had a series of misunderstandings that escalated into regrettable litigation. Because I am uncertain whether I would have prevailed and want to end this dispute, I have decided to withdraw the lawsuit.
I do not wish Michael or UTA any harm and hope to conduct business with them in the future."
OK, then. Given how heated this lawsuit was, the prospect of Einziger and UTA working together soon seems unlikely. But stranger things have happened in Hollywood. Terms of the settlement aren't known.
Einziger is represented by Paul Sorrell of Lavely & Singer. UTA and Camacho are repped by Bryan Freedman at Freedman & Taitelman, who declined to comment.