2:19pm PT by Ashley Cullins
CAA Sued for Fraud by Worldview Entertainment
CAA is being sued by Worldview Entertainment for allegedly breaching a first-look deal and treating the financier as a last resort to fund projects that others had passed on.
Worldview claims CAA pretended to offer strategic advice but was really conspiring to fleece the financier for its own benefit.
"Relying on CAA's promises, expertise and advice, between 2010 and 2015, Plaintiffs invested more than $55 million in more than 20 different film projects that were suggested by CAA," writes attorney Paul Salvaty in the complaint. "The projects were attached to well-known CAA clients but, contrary to CAA's representations, they were not films that other financiers were willing to fund."
Several "poor-performing" films are listed as evidence of the fraud, including The Green Inferno, Wish I Was Here and Rules Don't Apply.
"CAA betrayed Plaintiffs to curry favor with other CAA clients because CAA benefited no matter what," writes Salvaty. "It stood to receive millions of dollars in fees, regardless of box office performance."
Worldview also claims its partnership with CAA led to its participating in "litigation-spawning projects" with The Weinstein Co. and Wild Bunch, accelerated the company's losses and eventually decimated its ability to keep operating.
The financier is suing for fraud, negligent misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty and unfair business practices.
In a statement, CAA's attorney responded: "Worldview has been embroiled in litigation in New York filed against it by its own investors, accusing its management of breach of duty and improper conduct with regard to the very investments about which Worldview now seeks to cast blame on CAA. CAA denies Worldview’s spurious allegations and will defend itself vigorously in court."
The complaint is below.