Universal proves itself stronger than 'Hercules'

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Universal proves itself stronger than 'Hercules'

Thu May 28, 2009 @ 04:25PM PST

By Eriq Gardner


Kevinsorbo2 Even Hercules himself couldn't get a court to look into alleged Hollywood accounting.

After nearly five years of litigation, the battle between Kevin Sorbo, star of the "Hercules" television show, and Universal, has seemingly ended. The California Court of Appeal last month affirmed a lower court's judgment dismissing Sorbo's claims that Universal owed him an 8% profit participation from nearly $200 million in charges deducted in error from the series' gross receipts. Sorbo also claimed that he was entitled to a $5 million advance payment against future profits thanks to a "favored nation clause" in his agreement.

According to the complaint, Sorbo suffered an aneurism and strokes thanks to the role's physical demands and was persuaded to continue through the final seasons by a generous financial package.

But the appeals court accepted Universal's submitted evidence about the deductions and ruled that it wasn't an issue of material fact for a trial. Here's the decision.

Universal was represented by Gail Title and a team at Katten Muchin Rosenman. Sorbo was represented by Lavely & Singer.

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to Matthew.Belloni@thr.com

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