Famed Broadway producer Scott Rudin has been sued by an ad agency over unpaid bills, which they say runs to an amount over $6 million. SpotCo filed suit with the New York State Supreme Court, claiming Scott Rudin Productions has failed to pay for work done on eight shows, and owes them $6,331,972.04 as of July 24.
Jonathan Zavin, who represents Rudin and his production company, told the New York Times that the case has “no merit” and that they “intend to contest it vigorously.”
The first producer ever to win the EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony), Rudin has been among the most successful in both Broadway and film production since his career launched in 1978. His credits as a producer on Broadway include 2018’s To Kill a Mockingbird, the 2017 revival of Hello, Dolly! with Bette Midler, The Book of Mormon, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum – among many others. In his career, he has racked up 17 Tony wins. Films with his name in the credits include Academy Award-winning Best Picture No Country for Old Men, The Social Network, The Truman Show, Clueless, and all of Wes Anderson’s films. His anticipated revival of The Music Man starring Hugh Jackman had its opening pushed back to 2021 due to the coronavirus.
The lawsuit names Rudin, his production company and ten LLCs – a mixture of Rudin-run companies and production companies set up for individual shows – as defendants. It outlines a relationship between Rudin and SpotCo where the producer – who was once dubbed by Page Six as “Hollywood’s biggest a-hole” – regularly demanded much of the agency and was delinquent in payment for services rendered. It alleges that the dispute began to boil over in September 2019 over the outstanding balances, exacerbated by a February 2020 payment by one of Rudin’s companies of $3 million directly to the New York Times for advertising which had already been paid for and billed via SpotCo.
“Rudin and SRP’s usual practice is to make partial payments on outstanding invoices on the one hand, while requesting additional services on the other,” the lawsuit reads. “In other words, while the oldest debts were paid off, new debts were incurred, and the result was that the totality of the debt was never paid in full.”
Out of the more than $6 million SpotCo claims it is owed, the largest line item is $2.815 million reportedly due from Danish San Juan LLC, which lists Rudin, Barry Diller and David Geffen as directors. $1.1 million is also due for services rendered to Gary S Sequel, the company set up for the Tony Award-nominated Gary, A Sequel to Titus Andronicus starring Nathan Lane.
The lawsuit seeks monetary damages for “breach of oral contract, breach of implied in fact contract, breach of the warranty of good faith and fair dealing, unjust enrichment, and quantum meruit to recover from Defendants.”
Broadway has been dark since March as the coronavirus pandemic raged through New York, and will have its doors closed through at least early 2021.