Before Justin Bieber, there was David Cassidy. Okay, way before the ‘Biebs as in the ’70s but back in the day David was quite the heartthrob! Well, the 61 year-0ld is now suing Sony Pictures Entertainment for fraud and breach of contract, indicating the makers of his hit show The Partridge Family earned $500 million over years from royalties, merchandise and a spin-off, of which he didn’t receive his due.
The studio, however, is singing a different tune. According to E! News, studio attorney Gregory Boone wrote to David’s attorney in response to an interview the former teen idol gave on CNN. ”It would seem as though your client does not appreciate the difference between merchandising of The Partridge Family series and merchandising using Mr. Cassidy’s name, voice or likeness.”
He added, ”Our right to use the name…of Mr. Cassidy in merchandise expired in the 1970s. However, we continue to have the unfettered right to merchandise The Partridge Family...and Mr. Cassidy does not share in any such receipts.”
In August, David expressed his thoughts on CNN and indicated he received $5,000 of proceeds from all of the lunch boxes, beach towels, board games and all other merchandise spawned from their hit show. “It’s just ludicrous and unfair and wrong. It’s greed.”
In case you’re wondering what took so long for David to file his claim, apparently he recently found a copy of the original contract in a box that wasn’t opened in 30 years!
According to the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, the actor/singer was owed a 15 percent cut of the merchandise because his popularity helped drive sales. He was also due 7.5 percent of the net proceeds of all TV royalties and a financial cut in any spinoffs. He’s suing for fraud, breach of contract and open book accounting, misappropriation of right of publicity, negligent misrepresentation, civil conspiracy and constructive fraud.