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Stephen King’s Ex-Lawyer Sues for Breach of Contract

Ex-lawyer for horror maestro Stephen King claims he was unfairly ousted and denied commissions

Stephen King's former agent and current accountant appear to have a legal nightmare on their hands that even the master of horror might have trouble conjuring up.

Getty ImagesJay Kramer, who had been King's attorney for more than 30 years, filed suit in New York's Supreme Court against the author's agents, Arthur B. Greene and Susan Greene of the Arthur B. Greene Literary Agency, claiming that they convinced King to can him, and have withheld his commission on projects related to King's work.

Also read: Warner Bros. Passes Over Stephen King's "The Dark Tower"

Given the massive commercial success of King's work, along with the various adaptations of his work, it's a substantial amount.

Kramer alleges that, after working for King since 1978 and helping to broker lucrative deals for the writer, he was axed in March at the Greenes' suggestion and thereafter bilked on commissions for past and future projects.

According to Kramer's suit, Arthur Greene, currently in his 80s, was replaced as King's agent and relegated to accounting duties in 2008. At the insistence of King, Greene's wife Susan was brought in to assist her husband "as Mr. Greene's cognitive skills have declined."

Also read: Stephen King Working on "Shining" Sequel — "Dr. Sleep"

Kramer's suit claims the Greenes had a secret meeting with King, after which he was fired. In addition to getting the boot, Kramer says that he's been denied commissions rightfully due  him for various projects, including film and television productions of "1408," "Secret Window," "The Shawshank Connection" and "The Stand." The suit also mentions, among other negotiations, film deals for "The Dark Tower" and "Sun Dog" that Kramer was "completing" at the time of his termination.

The suit alleges that after the firing the Greenes "jointly and severally began diverting the sums owed to Mr. Kramer to their own account and refused to pay them to Mr. Kramer." According to the complaint, since Kramer's firing, "hundreds of thousands of dollars in commissions" have been paid out on deals that Kramer had negotiated or was in the process of completing, but he hasn't seen a dime of them.

The Greene literary agency has not yet responded to TheWrap's request for comment.

Kramer claims that Susan Greene has "made clear her unwillingness to pay anything to Mr. Kramer unless he would negotiate with her regarding what payments he would receive."

The suit alleges conversion of commissions for work performed, breach of contract for work performed, quantum meruit/unjust enrichment, tortious interference with contract and tortious interference with prospective economic gain — and the suit is asking for a minimum of $1 million for each count.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.