Franchise gets seal as case continues

Forensic experts claims Stevens signed immunity papers

A U.S. District court ruled Thursday that Franchise’s motion for a protective order regarding confidentiality will be upheld in Intertainment’s lawsuit against the company.

Meanwhile, Intertainment released a report from an independent forensic expert that claims Franchise president Andrew Stevens did sign a contract that outlined a plan to give him individual immunity in Intertainment’s $75 million litigation against Franchise, in exchange for giving Intertainment details of how Stevens’ company allegedly inflated its budgets.

A Franchise spokeswoman says Stevens continues to deny signing any such document and that “Intertainment has continued to refuse to allow Franchise’s own forensic experts to have access to the supposed original document” to conduct their own tests.

The protective order will seal financial and other records that emerge in the Intertainment-Franchise dispute.

Late last year, Intertainment filed a lawsuit against Samaha that alleged he defrauded the company by secretly inflating budgets. Samaha’s lawyers denied Intertainment’s allegations and filed a lawsuit against the German company in Los Angeles Superior Court.

The Franchise suit alleges breach of contract and fraud, claiming that Intertainment reneged on its five-year, 60-pic distribution deal with the company.

Intertainment also alleged that Imperial Bank worked with Samaha to defraud Intertainment, which amended its lawsuit to include the bank on Feb. 20. Samaha’s attorneys also deny this charge.

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