Candace Bushnell Settles Ex-Manager Lawsuit Over 'Sex and the City' Money (Exclusive)
Clifford Streit, who claimed to have made the introductions that led to the hit HBO series and movies, has reached a new deal over commissions.
Candace Bushnell, the author whose work was adapted into the popular TV and film franchise Sex and the City, has reached a new agreement with ex-manager Clifford Streit over commissions allegedly due to him.
The two have been fighting ever since Streit introduced Bushnell to producer Darren Star and took credit for helping sell her work to HBO. Bushnell fired Streit as her manager in 1999, and they have been in and out of court since, arguing over Streit's portion of the ongoing success of Sex and the City.
Bushnell might wish she had used a different manager in the 1990s than Streit, who reportedly was the inspiration for Carrie Bradshaw’s gay best friend Stanford Blatch on the HBO show.
When Streit sued Bushnell in 2005, she fired back at her former friend, calling him an "opportunist," who "came out of the woodwork" and commenced a lawsuit on the eve of a new book "in an apparent attempt to injure Bushnell's reputation."
At that point, Streit claimed that Bushnell had breached an agreement that purportedly entitled him to 10 percent of Bushnell's SATC income. Streit said he got $10,000 when Bushnell optioned her material for $100,000 to HBO but hadn't received anything afterward.
According to Bushnell's 1995 contract with HBO, which has been made public as a result of this litigation, the writer was to have received 5 percent of net profits, plus production bonuses and further compensation for sequels, remakes and reruns. (In 1998, an amendment to the contract was made where Bushnell also got $2,500 per episode and $25,000 as a consultant for the second season.)
In 2006, a federal judge rejected Bushnell's attempt to dismiss parts of Streit's lawsuit, using the opportunity to muse about "the legal system's version of paparazzi ... [who] stalk and hound and vex the rich and famous" and why celebrities have "no silver bullet (or fly swatter)" to do much about such pests.
Soon after the decision, the two sides came to a private settlement.
In February, thanks to alleged breach of this 2006 settlement, Streit revealed the details of what he got, including Bushnell agreeing to pay an immediate $25,000 plus 7.5 percent of additional money from SATC in perpetuity.
From 2006-09, Bushnell made payments to Streit totaling about $230,000, according to the lawsuit, but Streit alleged it wasn't enough, pointing to the box-office success of the SATC movies, the television series in syndication, DVD and iTunes sales, film soundtracks and more. In particular, Streit says his last payment came in October 2009. even though Sex and the City 2 was released in May 2010.
Bushnell then filed a sealed counterclaim against Streit.
Now, the two sides have come to a new confidential deal that dismisses the litigation. Terms aren't known. Neal Brickman, Streit's lawyer, declined comment. Victor Bushell, Bushnell's attorney, hasn't yet responded to a request for further information.
E-mail: email@example.com; Twitter: @eriqgardner
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