6:25pm PT by Alex Ben Block
Film Investors' Lawsuit Against Rob Schneider Moves to L.A. Superior Court
A lawsuit against actor-producer-writer Rob Schneider, his brother John Schneider and the production company behind a movie they produced called The Chosen One was moved Wednesday from San Francisco to Los Angeles Superior Court.
The suit, which charges breach of contract and fraud, was first filed in November by George and Nancy Gamble, a married couple who say in 2008 they were persuaded to invest $1.5 million to complete postproduction work on The Chosen One, which Rob Schneider (star of the Deuce Bigalow films) was directing and starring in with Steve Buscemi, Holland Taylor, George Dzundza and others.
The Gambles claim they were never told there was any risk and, in fact, were promised a return of at least $225,000 or more on their investment. They signed a contract that said they would have first claim on any money that came in related to the project.
Instead, according to the suit, the Schneiders used the money for other purposes. The movie was eventually completed and released direct to video Chosen One Productions RS LLC.
“The representations that the Schneiders made to [the Gambles] were knowingly false and designed to steal the [Gambles'] money,” the suit claims.
Rob Schneider denies the lawsuit's allegations and said through a spokesman that he expects to emerge triumphant in the matter. “The claims are flatly contradicted by the language of the contracts," Schneider's spokesman tells The Hollywood Reporter in a statement. "The Gambles made an investment in the movie, with no guarantee of success. The Schneiders are confident that they will be vindicated in court.”
Eric Lorenzini, legal counsel for Rob Schneider, said in a statement Wednesday: "The Gambles’ lawsuit is frivolous. The Gambles made an investment in the film, with no guarantee of success. The Gambles’ funds were used exactly as agreed upon by the parties. While the Schneiders, like the Gambles, are disappointed that the film was not as successful as hoped, that is a risk inherent in any investment of this type. The Schneiders are confident that the court will find that there’s no basis for any of the Gambles’ claims."
John Schneider is a personal manager and not to be confused with the Dukes of Hazzard actor.
The Gambles are suing to get their money back, plus damages and attorney fees.