Steven Tyler's former management company claims lawyer sabotaged "American Idol" negotiation for her own gain
Steven Tyler may have left the building as far as "American Idol" is concerned, but his two-year stint as a judge on the series is still reverberating, at least in the court system.
Tyler's former management group is suing entertainment attorney Dina LaPolt, claiming that she undermined Tyler's renegotiation with "Idol," costing the management company millions of dollars.
According to the suit, filed by Kovac Media Group (dba Tenth Street Entertainment) in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday, LaPolt served as Tenth Street's attorney, and signed Tyler as a client based on Tenth Street's referral.
In 2011, Tyler's contract was up for renegotiation, the suit claims, and Tenth Street sought to capitalize on the rocker's popularity by negotiating a $6-8 million raise for Tyler.
However, according to the suit, LaPolt used privileged and sensitive information obtained from her dealings with Tenth Street to undermine the renegotiating process, telling an agent from "American Idol" that Tenth Street principal Allen Kovac "overplayed his hand with his aggressive behavior" and that "Idol" could get Tyler for cheap.
In the end, the suit says, Tyler was offered the same amount he had previously received.
The complaint claims that LaPolt bad-mouthed Kovac and spoiled the renegotiation in order to "curry favor with 'American Idol' to refer her other artists and talents" and says that, after the Tyler negotiation, LaPolt ended up representing "numerous 'American Idol' performers."
LaPolt has not yet responded to TheWrap's request for comment on the suit, which does not name Tyler or "American Idol" as defendants.
Moreover, Kovac claims that LaPolt turned senior Tenth Street employee Eric Sherman against the company, convincing him to leave and take Tyler as a client with him. (According to the suit, Tyler and Tenth Street parted ways in August 2011.)
The suit also says that LaPolt took 1 percent "off the top" from Aerosmith's gross touring revenue — cutting in half what Tenth Street was entitled to, an amount that the suit claims is in the "millions of dollars." (The group is currently preparing for the second leg of its Global Warming Tour, which kicks off next month.)
Alleging breach of fiduciary duty, breach of the duty of confidence, intentional interference with contract, intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, Kovac Media/Tenth Street is seeking compensatory and consequential damages "believed to be more than $8 million," plus interest, punitive and exemplary damages, attorney's fees, suit costs, litigation costs.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.