Producer claims model, WMA breached contract
NEW YORK — “Sex With Cindy Crawford” is taking “NYPD Blue’s” timeslot on ABC tonight, but a lawsuit filed in New York presents the story behind the one-hour special as fodder for “The Practice.”
The suit, filed Friday by television producer Peter Stuart and his London-based Rapido Television, alleges that the “Sex With Cindy” breaches a joint-venture agreement between Stuart and the model to co-produce an approximate version of just such a show.
The suit also names the William Morris Agency, which at the time of the alleged agreement represented both defendant Crawford and plaintiff Stuart.
Neither Crawford’s representation nor William Morris returned calls for comment.
Stuart claims he and Crawford were brought together by their respective William Morris agents when the supermodel was looking for TV vehicles.
The two reportedly met in June 1997 and, according to the suit, immediately “disagreed with the William Morris agents’ strategy of having Crawford featured in a syndicated ‘lifestyle’ talk show for women.”
Stuart claims that within two weeks of this meeting, William Morris informed him that he had been selected by Crawford “to be her executive producer .”
He allegedly went so far as “to have the idea of the series of network ‘magazine’ shows featuring Crawford presented to Bob Iger at ABC.”
The network was said to have responded “with enthusiasm” while Stuart continued developing the proposed project through “early fall.”
Along the way, Stuart claims, “a deal memorandum” was drawn up by William Morris “on behalf of Cindy” that stated, in part, that “Stuart and Crawford would work together” for nine months, among other claims.
The suit goes on to claim that Crawford, armed with “a revised proposal” from Stuart, neglected to contact him after she shopped the project “with each of the three networks on or about Sept. 17, 1997.”
Furthering the plaintiff’s fury was the failure, in his view, of then-agent “William Morris U.K. to adequately represent Stuart’s interest in connection with the project and the ABC agreement.”
Adding insult to injury was the idea that the concept was brought to fruition at the very network Stuart claims he presented it to.
“Indeed,” the suit states, “one demo tape produced by Stuart during the course of their joint venture referred expressly to the future production of a program exploring modern-day attitudes towards sex.”