‘This Is Spinal Tap’ Creators Settle Fraud Lawsuit With Vivendi and StudioCanal

Star Harry Shearer’s original lawsuit dates back to October 2016

The creators of the film “This Is Spinal Tap,” including director Rob Reiner and stars Michael McKean, Christopher Guest and Harry Shearer, have settled a lawsuit with StudioCanal and its French parent company Vivendi on fraud accusations that the companies withheld money from the stars, according to documents obtained by TheWrap.

The lawsuit dates back to October 2016 when Shearer, who played the band’s bassist Derek Smalls in the 1984 mockumentary, demanded $125 million and said that Vivendi and StudioCanal engaged in “anti-competitive and unfair business practices,” and “willfully concealed and manipulated years of accountings to retain monies due and owing to plaintiff.”

Shearer was then joined in the lawsuit in 2017 by his co-stars, and the monetary demand ballooned to $400 million in damages. In 2018, a judge denied a motion to dismiss the fraud claims against the companies. Together the creators hoped to reclaim the rights to “Spinal Tap” by exercising termination rights under the Copyright Act.

The filing says that the parties reached an agreement on Thursday after several months of mediation in front of California Magistrate Judge Louise A. LaMothe and that the deal will still include “restructuring the parties’ relationship and modifying contracts pertaining to the picture’s distribution.” Other details about the settlement, including the amount of money agreed to in the terms, were not disclosed.

The group also settled with Universal Music Group over revenue from the film’s soundtrack.