Core Media Group is feeling so attacked by Simon Fuller, they are now attempting to escape its agreements with the executive. If successful, Fuller will lose a 10 percent profit share from American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance. Core is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy partly due to a multi-million-dollar payment demand that Fuller made earlier in the year.
According to The Hollywood Reporter:
Back in 2010, Fuller left 19 Entertainment, a subsidiary of Core, but the two sides came to an agreement that provided executive producer and consulting services in return for hefty payments…Fuller is now eyeing fraud claims and is pushing the judge for an order authorizing examination of the company’s assets and the transactions it has made.
Core, which has been moving towards a reorganization to satisfy nearly $400 million in outstanding debt, pretty much calls Fuller a nuisance in new court papers. The debtor’s position is that it reached a settlement with the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors — which Fuller isn’t on, but which covers his claims — and that should be the end of that.
“In short, the [Fuller Investigation] Motion represents a blatant attempt to harass the Debtors at a crucial stage in these proceedings for the benefit of a single creditor who was obviously unhappy with the Committee’s conclusions,” states the debtor’s lawyers.
But Core (and affiliates like AOG Entertainment) are not only opposing Fuller’s discovery attempts. Monday’s court papers also include a motion seeking an order under bankruptcy code to authorize the rejection of agreements with Fuller.
If Core is successful in getting out from under the deal, it would be the end of Fuller’s 10 percent profit share and his creative control over both shows which he created. Fuller would not take part in any potential American Idol reboot, for instance.
“The recent decline in the Debtors’ businesses, coupled with the recent conclusion of American Idol on American broadcast television, has caused the Fuller Consultancy Deed to become more burdensome then beneficial,” states the court papers. “The Debtors’ relationship with Mr. Fuller has similarly deteriorated, evidenced in part by Mr. Fuller’s expressed willingness to commence a winding up proceeding against 19 Entertainment less than four months ago as well as Mr. Fuller’s recent tactic in seeking to conduct a 2004 examination of the Debtors and certain of their non-Debtor affiliates.”
Core adds that Fuller hasn’t provided any services since the April bankruptcy and his services aren’t needed. The motion is scheduled to be taken up at a bankruptcy court hearing on Aug. 23.