April 27, 2011 3:33pm PT by Matthew Belloni
Mariska Hargitay Sues William Morris Endeavor Over 'SVU' Commissions
Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay has sued her former agents at William Morris Endeavor, claiming the agency is trying to collect a commission on her earnings after she parted ways with WMA.
In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in state court in New York, Hargitay claims WME wants money from Seasons 11 and 12 of SVU, even though her deal for those seasons was negotiated after she and her primary agent departed in the wake of the WMA-Endeavor merger.
Hargitay, who moved from UTA to WME in 2002, says she signed a one-year contract giving the agency 10 percent of her SVU salary. That deal expired in 2004 but WME continued to represent the actress until she followed her agent Erwin More to Paradigm in 2009, according to the lawsuit.
Now WME is alleged to have filed a demand for arbitration this month, claiming it is entitled to commissions on the 11th and 12th seasons of SVU, a deal that was negotiated after Hargitay ended her relationship with the agency, according to the petition to stay the arbitration.
"WME bases its claims on the long-expired WMA Agreement -- to which it was not a party, and which was never assigned to it -- and a purported implied or oral contract which it contends arose between WMA and Ms. Hargitay," alleges the lawsuit, filed by Leonard Steinman and Khianna Bartholomew at New York's Blank Rome and Dale Kinsella and Laura Castner at Santa Monica's Kinsella Weitzman.
We've reached out to WME for comment. UPDATE: A rep for the agency says it does not comment on litigation.