Olympic gold medalist Oksana Baiul has filed a lawsuit against the William Morris Endeavor talent agency. The famed skater claims that, since the skater was 16 years old, the agency took advantage of her poor English skills while swindling her out of millions of dollars.
The famed Ukrainian figure skating champion filed the lawsuit this week in Los Angeles Superior Court. In the lawsuit, Oksana claims that WME collected money on her behalf and then refused to pay her.
According to the lawsuit, Oksana Baiul’s agreement with William Morris Endeavor started in May 1994 and gave the agency the right to represent her in “all fields and media, throughout the world.”
Discrepancies at WME were not discovered until Baiul in 2011 hired Carlo Farina to handle her day-to-day management. It was Farina who discovered the alleged accounting and collection discrepancies. Oksana was able to collect $9.5 million, but she believes more money is being hidden away by WME.
In the lawsuit, Oksana’s law team writes:
“Not until November 19, 2011, did Baiul discover, through investigations by her personal manager, Farina, that though Defendants undertook the duty to collect and in fact collected almost US $9.5 million on Baiul’s behalf, Defendants failed to collect additional sums to which Baiul was contractually entitled, failed to remit payment of the additional sums to Baiul and/or took the payments owing to Baiul and wrongful transferred them to OCL, UFG, and their agents.”
Among missing payments are $150,000 for a jewelry endorsement and $100,000 from a greeting card and stationery deal. Also included are royalties for several films along with other residuals.
In the lawsuit, Oksana Baiul’s legal team asks for at least $1 million in compensatory damages and more in punitive damages.
The William Morris Endeavor talent agency has declined to comment on the lawsuit or their dealings with Oksana Baiul.