Main Line strikes back

Lawyers and execs for Main Line Pictures lashed back at Kim Basinger Tuesday, claiming the sultry thesp is using bankruptcy court to avoid payment on the $ 8. 1 mil judgment against her for breach of contract on the pic “Boxing Helena.”

Basinger switched her bankruptcy petition Monday from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7 . If approved, that will allow her to have a court-appointed trustee liquidate her current assets and distrib them to creditors.

Problem is, says Main Line lawyer Joel Samuels of the firm Sidley & Austin, Basinger’s assets of roughly $ 2 mil to $ 3 mil don’t cover the size of her debt , which has been targeted at more than $ 10 million

“She wants to use the bankruptcy process to insulate herself and keep her post-bankruptcy earnings,” said Samuels. “Conversion of their case to Chapter 7 is an indication by her that she was not willing to put forward a plan that would meet the criteria of the court that her plan be found in good faith.”

Basinger’s attorneys initially pitched a reorganization plan under Chapter 11 that offered three years’ worth of future earnings to creditors. Main Line nixed the formula, saying that she might work lightly or choose not to work at all during those three years. “It could be a hollow commitment,” said Samuels. “It could be illusory if she chose not to work. She could choose not to work for a variety of reasons.”

Basinger’s team responded this week with the Chapter 7 declaration. “Our amended plan for reorganization provided for substantially higher distributions than a Chapter 7, and more than the law requires for Chapter 11,” said Leslie Cohen, Basinger’s bankruptcy attorney from the firm Levene & Eisenberg. “But nothing was good enough for Main Line.”

Cohen claimed that Main Line had worried in court whether Basinger might get pregnant in the next three years, thus avoiding more work. Cohen said such an infringement on Basinger’s private life was “the last straw” in her decision to file Chapter 7.

“It really doesn’t matter to us one way or the other whether she has a family or not,” responded Samuels. “The issue for us and the court is whether she disclosed what she intended to do with the three-year period of time during which she was promising to pay creditors.”

Carl Mazzocone, Main Line president, called the move a “calculated manipulation of the judicial system” by Basinger to delay the proceeding. “Now we’re back at the beginning, where we started seven months ago,” he said.

Samuels identified several options for the indie, two of which included objecting to any discharge of debt a court might rule for the actress or legally seeking to dismiss the Chapter 7 case.

Meanwhile, Cohen says Basinger is still carrying on her appeal attempt, which she expects to win when it comes before the California State Court of Appeal in the next 12-18 months.

Basinger was ordered to pay $ 8.1 mil to the small indie after an L.A. Superior Court held her to a verbal pact to star in “Boxing Helena.”

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