In response to a lawsuit filed late last week by Neil Sacker, its former head of biz affairs, Destination Film Distribution has issued a statement denying his allegations and vowing to pursue its own remedies against Sacker for “besmirching” the company.
Destination said there was no impropriety in its dealings with Internet company Jetcast.com or with the financial community. It also disputed Sacker’s claims involving his termination and said it would demonstrate in court that he was dismissed for his willful refusal to perform the duties of his position.
Sacker filed suit April 7 in the Santa Monica branch of L.A. Superior Court, claiming he was fired for refusing to approve a deal giving exclusive Internet distribution rights to Jetcast, a company allegedly owned by Destination senior execs Brent Baum, Barry London, John Williams and Paul Westphal.
He also charged that Destination never obtained the $100 million line of credit from Chase Manhattan Bank that it needed to complete its financing. The company separately raised $100 million in a bond issue backed by an insurance policy.
In its statement, Destination said that only Williams has an investment in Jetcast and that Sacker was simply requested to review legal language regarding a grant of rights pertaining to some of Destination’s output partners. The company went on to deny any conflict of rights with its output partners Columbia TriStar Home Video and Encore Cable. It also declared that Sacker was not a member of the board of directors and was never authorized to approve potential alliances for the company.
“My client denies any impropriety in any of its dealings with Mr. Sacker or anyone else,” Destination attorney Ron Guttman said. “It is unfortunate that any attorney would breach the attorney-client privilege and disclose confidential client information in such a public document.”
Pierce O’Donnell, Sacker’s attorney, countered: “Destination’s statement is a perpetuation of the coverup and fraud that senior management has been attempting to perpetrate since the pretextual firing of a lawyer who had the courage to just say no.”
Upcoming releases for Destination include the family film “Thomas and the Magic Railroad”; “Whipped,” a comedy starring Amanda Peet; Sally Fields’ directorial debut “Beautiful,” starring Minnie Driver; and “Buying the Cow,” starring Jerry O’Connell, Bridgette Wilson and Ryan Reynolds.