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Talent manager Joannie Burstein is suing her former client Leland Orser because she claims he violated their deal as soon as his Epix series Berlin Station became a commercial success.
Burstein represented Orser for more than a decade, according to the complaint. She’s suing for breach of contract, claiming he abruptly terminated her in April and stopped paying her 10 percent commission from projects he landed while she was managing him.
“In sum, Burstein acted as Orser’s faithful manager and friend for years, standing by Orser through difficult periods in his professional life and staying true to him until he achieved his long-term career goals,” writes attorney Bryan Freedman in the complaint. “No sooner did Orser finally reach those goals than he decided to betray Burstein.”
The manager and actor reached an oral agreement in 2005 under which Burstein would receive a tenth of Orser’s gross compensation from acting gigs, according to the complaint filed Thursday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Berlin Station is the first scripted drama from Epix, a joint venture of Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM. The spy series has been renewed for a sophomore season and is set to begin production this spring.
Burstein says she’s owed commission from both Berlin Station and Showtime series Ray Donovan, which Orser landed before terminating her, and is asking the court for an accounting to determine exactly how much she is due.
Orser’s representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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