October 27, 2011 4:41pm PT by Matthew Belloni
Melissa Joan Hart Sued By Former Manager for Commissions
Melissa Joan Hart’s former talent manager has sued the actress for allegedly refusing to pay commissions on money she earned for the hit ABC Family series Melissa & Joey.
The complaint, filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court by Kieran Maguire, begins with what might be the best lawsuit line of the year: “Melissa Joan Hart has no heart.” Ouch. We've reached out to Hart's reps for comment.
Maguire says Hart hired him in August 2006 when her career was “dwindling” and agreed orally to pay him the standard 10 percent commission on earnings. He says he represented her for five years, including during the time she got the series Melissa & Joey off the ground, until he was fired in March 2011. Hart is now allegedly refusing to pay commissions to Maguire beyond those from the first year of the show.
“This case is one more incident of an actress who seeks to take advantage of, mistreat and thumb her nose at those in her employ — in this instance the person who rescued her career as it was plummeting towards obscurity,” states the suit, a copy of which was obtained by THR.
Interestingly, the complaint alleges that Hart was paid just $3,750 per episode for the first season of Melissa & Joey, totaling $122,700 for 30 episodes (plus $10,200 in extra commissions). Maguire says he believes her fee has increased for the second season, entitling him to at least $56,250 for his share of a planned 15-episode season.
The complaint, filed by Bryan Freedman and Brian Turnauer at Freedman & Taitelman, alleges causes of action for breach of oral contract, quantum meruit, declaratory relief, accounting, breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, fraud and unjust enrichment.