Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Friars Club, Dead Anyway, In Brutal Financial Loss: Arbitrator Awards Former CEO $1.4 Mil Despite Past Crimes


EXCLUSIVE Years of poor character judgement and mismanagement have cost the already-dead Friars Club $1.4 million.

An arbitrator has awarded the club’s former CEO Michael Gyure $1.4 million including legal fees in a case filed three years ago.

The Friars Club was already under water, trying to sell its storied headquarters on East 55th Street to fend off foreclosure.

The Club’s stunning loss to Gyure (ironically pronounced “jury”) stings in particular because the former CEO was found guilty for failure to file personal taxes and for former tax offenses. He was sentenced to one year of supervised release in July 2019. He’d been a lightning rod at the club after it was raided by the FBI several years ago. At that point, the fabled club fell apart, with the remaining celebrities leaving the organization to disreputable members. But Gyure had rallied remaining followers who showed up in court to support him.

That was immediately followed by a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by the club’s former receptionist against the club. She won nearly $1 million in a settlement. The cause of the suit, Friars “Scribe” Bruce Charet, remained with the club nonetheless, bringing in his own business partners to run it.

The Friars and Gyure have a bizarre history. Even as the Club was falling apart, was under federal investigation, endured the sex harassment lawsuit, they kept renewing his contract. Then in 2020 they abruptly terminated him. Gyure turned around and sued the Club. The Club countersued sued him in 2022 for embezzlement.

Long gone are the halcyon days of Alan King, Freddie Roman, Larry King, Joan Rivers, and so on. Even before the club went downhill it was shunned by the new generation of comics like Jerry Seinfeld, David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Jon Stewart, and so on. They wanted nothing to do with it as it sank into oblivion.

Since Gyure was ousted, and lawsuits were filed by both parties, the Friars have drifted into a kind of hell no one could have imagined. Charet and his associates, according to sources, still have some kind of hold over the Club. I reported earlier this year that the Club lost its trademark rights to its 100 year old logo. The sign outside the Club was stolen or removed during the filming of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and still hasn’t been found. Just recently they announced they were licensing the audio from their decades of their famous Friars Club Roasts to Sirius XM despite questions about who owns the rights. It’s unclear if the participants ever signed waivers. The Club also lost its 501c3 tax free charitable status.

The Club has been padlocked shut for most of this year.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
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.

Read more

In Other News