1:54pm PT by Eriq Gardner
'Apprentice' Contestants Agree to Split $1 Million Prize, End Up In Court
Ever wonder whether a reality show that features a high-stakes contest and lots of back-stabbing could ever instigate a lawsuit?
Look no further than the Dubai version of The Apprentice, where two contestants reached an agreement with each other to split $1 million in prize money and embark together on a business partnership. Bad idea.
In the aftermath of her participation on the show, Hannah Dodkin, a London woman, is suing Richard Best, a California citizen.
In 2008, Best became a finalist on the show (which may or may not be an authorized version of the NBC show). Earlier in the season, Dodkin was eliminated by the show's "Donald Trump" named Sulaiman Al Fahim, but was brought back along with another contestant in the final episode.
Then, according to Dodkin's complaint filed Tuesday in California federal court, Fahim informed the contestants to "go after the money and get the finalists to do your business plan, not their own."
Dodkin and Best not only agreed to work with other, but allegedly they drafted and signed a contract to share the winning prize 50/50.
But then, behind Dodkin's back, Fahim supposedly gave Best 10 percent of the prize money with the caveat that the money be donated to one of Fahim's charities. Later, Fahim crowned Best the winner of the full $1 million prize, but the winner refused to share the money with Dodkin.
Dodkin is now suing for breach of contract and fiduciary duty as well as negligent infliction of emotional distress, unjust enrichment, and promissory estoppel.