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Narcos director José Padilha has settled a lawsuit against his production partner Eric Newman alleging the series showrunner cheated him out of millions in profits by concealing revenue.
The two sides reached an agreement to resolve the suit, according to a court document filed on Monday. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
Newman, through his production company Spahn Ranch, and Padilha, through his production company Cold Mountain, report to each other all proceeds arising from exploitation of Narcos, including money from audits of and bonuses from Gaumont Television, according to the complaint. Under their profit sharing agreement, they have an equal split of all revenue.
But Padilha said he’s being shorted because the contract is structured in a way that the amount of money paid to Newman by Gaumont isn’t completely transparent. He claimed that the studio has paid Newman millions in revenue that hasn’t been reported. The suit referenced an audit of Gaumont by Newman at an unspecified date that wasn’t accounted for in profits paid to Padilha.
“Given that they were partners, Plaintiffs relied on Defendants to be loyal, to not self-deal, to not take any action that would interfere with Plaintiffs’ right to receive their share of any and all revenues, income and proceeds from the exploitation of the Series, and to timely, accurately, and fully account for all revenues, income, and proceeds generated and expenses incurred from the exploitation of the Series,” the complaint, which was filed in August, stated.
A source close to production of the show told The Hollywood Reporter that Padilha is in arbitration with Gaumont, which isn’t named as a defendant in this suit.
A dispute over Narcos profits also spawned a lawsuit from veteran TV executive Katie O’Connell Marsh against Gaumont in 2018 for breach of contract. She alleged that she’s not being paid from her share of gross receipts from Narcos in addition to the studio’s other shows, including Hannibal, Hemlock Grove and F Is for Family. That fight settled in October.
Gaumont and attorneys for Padilha and Newman didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
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