December 11, 2012 6:49pm PT by Matthew Belloni
'Pawn Stars' Lawsuit Claims Agent Stole Clients and History Channel Execs Helped
The stars of the History's megahit Pawn Stars are the subject of a new lawsuit that claims they were improperly steered from one agent to another by some of the channel's top executives.
Venture IAB Inc., a talent agency that alleges it signed reality stars Richard B. Harrison, Richard K. Harrison, Richard C. Harrison and Austen Russell to written contracts in 2007 and helped them score the hit reality series set in a Las Vegas pawn shop, filed suit Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court claiming $5 million in lost commissions based on its 10 percent interest in their income.
In early 2010, less than a year after Pawn Stars premiered on History, the network's top executive Nancy Dubuc and development and programming vp Mary Donahue allegedly "interfered" with the written agency agreement and advised the Pawn Stars talent to terminate their contracts "so that Dubuc's and Donahue's friend and agent, Michael Camacho of UTA, could take over" as their agent.
Camacho, a top reality TV agent who recently left UTA, is a defendant in the suit, along with History owner A&E Television Networks, Dubuc and Donahue. "As as result of the intentional interference with Agency Agreements, Plaintiff has lost millions of dollars of income," the suit alleges.
The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to A&E and History for comment and will update with a response.
A similar suit was filed recently by manager Wayne Jeffries, who claims he repped the Pawn Stars gang but was forced out at A&E's request.
The new Pawn Stars suit was the second A&E-related reality series to be hit with legal trouble Tuesday. As THR reported, A&E Network's Storage Wars was sued by a fired star who claims the show is rigged.
The suit, filed by David Affeld, Christopher Grivakes and Loren Beck at Affeld Grivakes Zucker, alleges causes of action for intellectual interference with contractual relations and intentional and negligent interference with prospective economic relations.