With the specter of Kim Basinger’s breach-of-contract suit still looming, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled Friday that Whoopi Goldberg would have to face up to a similar suit seeking $ 20 million in damages for allegedly reneging on a verbal pact to star in the film “T. Rex.”
Judge Stephen Lachs denied Goldberg’s motion for a summary judgment in the suit filed March 8 by T. Rex Prods. He cited at least 10 issues that made the case “try-able.”
The decision means Goldberg will have to face a Sept. 27 trial, which has already got both sides invoking Basinger’s name. The blonde bombshell was ordered to pay $ 7.4 million to Main Line Pictures last May after a jury ruled that she broke a verbal agreement to appear in the pic “Boxing Helena.”
Main Line has yet to see a penny from Basinger, who filed for bankruptcy soon after the ruling.
“T. Rex” producer Richard Abramson sued Goldberg on March 8 for $ 20 million, alleging that aftera clear verbal commitment to star in the pic, she bailed out. She was set to play the cop partner of a dinosaur named Theodore Rex.
Goldberg, through attorneys Edelstein and Laird, filed the counter-motion to dismiss the suit.
Abramson said the pic had secured $ 30 million in financing with a commitment to pay Goldberg $ 5 million, plus a percentage of profits.
“The bottom line is that we started this to try to get Whoopi Goldberg to live up to the commitment that she made,” said Abramson after the hearing. “All we ever wanted was Whoopi to do ‘T. Rex.’ ”
Abramson’s lawyer, Donald Zachary, said the ruling was a “flat-out victory” for his client and “T. Rex.”
Goldberg’s attorney Ralph Loeb shrugged off the decision, saying his client was ready to go to trial.
“This ruling has absolutely no reflection on the merits of their case,” Loeb said. “They should stop trying to try this case in the media and look a little more closely at the evidence.”
Loeb said Goldberg was offered scripts all the time and although she expressed an interest in “T. Rex,” she had by no means committed.
He added that the Basinger ruling opened up the floodgates for “frivolous lawsuits.”
“If a contract existed in this case, then Hollywood beware,” he said. “Independent producers will be forced to get out of the business.”