March 01, 2012 2:24pm PT by Matthew Belloni
Talent Agency Sues 'House of Payne' Star Keshia Knight Pulliam for Commissions (Exclusive)
Actress Keshia Knight Pulliam has been sued by her former talent agency for allegedly unpaid commissions from her work on the long-running Tyler Perry television series House of Payne.
Greene & Associates filed suit today in Los Angeles Superior Court against Pulliam, who starred as a child as Rudy Huxtable on The Cosby Show before going on to appear in several films and televisoin series, including the long-running TBS comedy Payne.
In the complaint, a copy of which was obtained by THR, the agency claims it agreed orally to represent Pulliam in 2007 (followed by a written SAG agreement confirming the arrangement) and take a standard 10 percent of her earnings. According to the filing, the agency procured a role on Payne for Pulliam during its representation of the actress from 2007 to 2010. She allegedly made between $7,500 per episode to $20,000 per episode for her services on Payne. Perry's shows shoot more episodes per season than a standard network series, and the complaint alleges Pulliam was guaranteed to be paid for as many as half of episodes shot (the show has produced up to 50 episodes per season).
Greene claims it was fired by Pulliam via email in July 2011, after which she joined rival APA. Greene says it quickly informed the actress of her continuing obligation to pay the agency on Payne as well as a few other projects. But it claims Pulliam has refused to pay commission on the new season of the show.
The suit, filed by Bryan Freedman and Brian Turnauer of LA's Freedman & Taitelman firm, claims more than $100,000 in unpaid commissions and $250,000 in future commissions.
We've reached out to Greene's new reps for comment and will update with a response.