4:01pm PT by Eriq Gardner
The Weinstein Co.'s "Precarious" Financial State Becomes Issue in Lawsuit
In the unfolding scandal concerning allegations that Harvey Weinstein harassed and raped women, what will come for The Weinstein Co.? More lawsuits alleging the company looked the other way? A bankruptcy filing? Weinstein himself contesting his termination?
Who knows, but in the meantime, one company already suing TWC wants to ensure that there is money left for them. In a court filing Wednesday, BRB Internacional S.A. and Apolo Films alluded to what's been happening by telling their judge that they want TWC to be ordered to put $1.75 million in escrow.
The original lawsuit was filed in New York in March and alleges that TWC has failed to pay up after coming to a deal to remake David the Gnome, an animated TV series that aired in the late 1980s and spawned a couple of spinoffs.
Harvey and Bob Weinstein originally worked on the old show before they became indie film mavens, and, of course, before allegations of their misbehavior surfaced in the press. The series about an old doctor who travels the world to heal injured animals was developed in conjunction with the Spanish animation studio BRB and aired in the U.S. on Nickelodeon.
BRB claims that it came to a deal with TWC in February 2013 granting exclusive rights to old episodes of David the Gnome and the first season of a reboot. In return, according to the complaint, TWC was to pay the $7 million budget for the first season and make a $1.75 million minimum guaranteed payment upon delivery of copies of the original series. BRB says the original series was delivered, and that a Portuguese bank provided funding for a new series, but that TWC "never made any of the promised payments, and now has refused to make any payments."
In turn, TWC claims they were induced to enter into the agreement by false misrepresentations that iTunes and Amazon had already purchased and approved programming.
TWC is represented by Bert Fields at Greenberg Glusker and Motty Shulman at Boies, Schiller & Flexner.
BRB is being handled by attorney John Griem, who, in a Rule 26(f) report, tells the judge that plaintiffs "intend to file a motion for an order that Defendant place in escrow the amount of the Guarantee in dispute pending the outcome of the litigation, in view of press reports suggesting that Defendant is in a precarious financial position."