Lisa Kudrow is most famous for her role as one of the most dependable friends in broadcast television history. Despite that standing, the actress’ former manager is suing her for somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.7 million. At the heart of the suit is money that the former aide claims was withheld from him, generated as residuals from her stint on the long running and super popular sitcom Friends.
During the 1990’s and stretching into the early 2000’s there were few actresses who were as beloved as Kudrow. She, along with Jennifer Aniston and Courtney Cox were the most recognizable women on TV. The show they appeared on was so popular that it is still being shown in syndication and still generates fairly good numbers depending on where you choose to look.
Scott Howard was her manager during those heady times, taking her on as a client in 1991 (three years before Friends first aired) and worked with her until 2007 (three years after the show ended its run.) He claims that Lisa Kudrow gave him verbal assurances he would receive income from the show’s reruns in syndication even after their business relationship ended.
E! News reports that money totals a little over $1.7 million still outstanding. Kudrow appeared in court at the end of last week and talked about the money she earned from the show and what she agreed to pay her former manager. The actress said she was first paid $13,500 an episode and her salary eventually ballooned to $1,040,000 in 2000. She earned an additional $5 million in back end residuals. She testified she had indeed to give Howard a cut of her earnings but they were to be taken only from the first round residuals.
The former Friends star said she thought that was more than fair when they parted company, because the first round residuals generate the most money.
“I felt like I didn’t really need Scott anymore, I didn’t want to fire him as I didn’t think it would be fair. A lot of people were firing their managers and told me I was being an idiot for not doing so. I think I wanted him to know that having a manager was unnecessary but I was going to keep him anyway — I just wanted a gesture.”
Kudrow added. She also said that right before the two decided to end their relationship, she cut his 10 percent commission in half. Lisa Kudrow said she didn’t believe it was fair to pay her former manager more than the money her agents were earning, especially since they were actually finding her work.
[Image credit: Streamys via photopin]