'Sordid' exec producer says he'll file bankruptcy
Stan Brooks has warned that he’ll file for bankruptcy if members of four Hollywood unions turn down his $242,000 offer to settle alleged nonpayment of $1.6 million for “Sordid Lives: The Series.”“If the Guilds reject his proposal, he truly will have no choice but to seek bankruptcy relief for his company,” Brooks’ attorney Ken Suddleson said Thursday. “It is not a bluff. He must file.” Brooks is facing claims of $1.1 million for the American Fedation of Television & Radio Artists and another $500,000 from the Directors Guild of America, the Writers Guild of America and the IATSE Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plan. “The Guild members need to understand that if the bankruptcy petition is filed, there can be no class actions or other lawsuits against his company, nor will they receive 100% or anything close to the amounts they believe they are owed,” Suddleson said. “Instead, they will receive a fraction of what Mr. Brooks has offered, because the Guilds will lose any priority and their claims will be lumped in with all other creditors, whose claims approach another $1.5 million. If the members want to maximize their recovery, they should take another look at Mr. Brooks’ offer.” The unions had no comment Thursday. AFTRA issued a “do not work” order against Brooks on July 30 and it’s believed that cast members rejected the settlement offer earlier this week. Brooks is a longtime TV producer with credits including “Broken Trail,” “Prayers for Bobby,” “At Risk,” “The Capture of the Green River Killer” and “Call Me: The Rise and Fall of Heidi Fleiss.” He’s asserted that his production company lost $700,000 due to the 2008 bankruptcy of payroll company Axium Intl. while “Sordid Lives” was shooting and completed production by mortgaging his home and securities. The comedy series premiered on Logo in 2008 and starred Bonnie Bedelia, the late Rue McClanahan, Olivia Newton-John, Beth Grant and Caroline Rhea. The WGA West won an arbitration award last November of $165,907 on behalf of writer-director Del Shores in an unpaid residuals claim against Once Upon a Time. Suddleson said that Brooks borrow money to assure that all those who worked on the production received 100% of their wages, unlike many other productions being payrolled by Axium. “However, neither he, nor his producing partner nor his company have taken any compensation whatsoever,” Suddleson added. Suddleson also said that Brooks was one of the organizers of the legal effort to recover monies from the Axium lender and incurred “significant” expense as a result.
Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more