Monday, June 17, 2024

Geraldo Rivera Wins Case: “A Body Blow to Sleazy Hollywood Talent Agencies”


Geraldo Rivera has won his case in Hollywood. Or rather, Rivera has triumphed because a lawsuit filed against him by the William Morris Endeavor Agency– WME– was dismissed by a New York judge this afternoon. On Twitter, Geraldo called the decision “a  body blow to sleazy Hollywood talent agencies.”

WME claimed that Rivera owed them commissions starting from 2010 because they are his talent agency. But Rivera argued that he had a key man clause with agent Jim Griffin starting in 1994. Griffin had been his agent starting in 1985. When Griffin left WME for Paradigm in 2010, Rivera said he had no agreement with WME and stopping paying them commissions.

WME said they had an oral agreement that they were Rivera’s agent. But Judge Charles Ramos disagreed. He pointed to the last signed contract Rivera had with WME– from 1994 to 1997– which specified Griffin as his key man. After 1997, there was so signed contract but Rivera kept paying Griffin until left in 2010.

Rivera sent out a couple of Tweets this afternoon including one that said: “I feel like the Curt Flood of the news business”– a reference to the baseball player who challenged Major League Baseball’s reserve clause in 1969 and invented free agency. Rivera is right in a sense, but I hope he remembers that the lawsuit — no matter how historic– ended Flood’s career. That shouldn’t be a problem for Geraldo.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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