Following a seven-day trial, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury Thursday decided in favor of Liza Greer, author of the Hollywood snitch book “You’ll Never Make Love in This Town Again,” who claimed her publisher owed her millions of dollars in royalties.
Greer sued Dove Entertainment Inc., formerly known as Dove Audio, alleging she had been coerced into signing a document that reduced her royalties from the book by 75%. Greer testified that she had asked for the document to be reviewed by a lawyer but was told there was no time. She also told the jury that while in 10th grade, she was in a class for students with learning disabilities.
The jury concurred with Greer that the document should be canceled and restored the author’s right to be paid royalties at the full rate specified in her original contract.
That will not, however, result in Greer becoming a millionaire. Sales figures for the book were initially highly inflated in media reports on which Greer had based her claim, said her lawyer, Rick Rosenthal. The book sold about 100,000 copies in hardback and a similar amount in paperback, Rosenthal said. But he said she will get what she is due, unless Dove appeals the verdict and prevails.
Damages will be assessed by the court at a Jan. 26 hearing before the same Superior Court judge who presided at trial, Paul Boland.
“I am very pleased that the jury agreed with our contention that Greer did not willingly consent to give up most of her compensation for the book after it had been become a bestseller,” Rosenthal said after the verdict. “I believe that the verdict was based on the lack of credibility of the witnesses for the defendant, Dove Entertainment, and on the jury’s belief that Liza Greer was telling the truth about the facts and circumstances of the case.”
A spokeswoman for Dove did not return a call seeking comment. Dove published heavy sellers about key figures in the O.J. Simpson murder trial and the Heidi Fleiss prostitution case. Greer’s book focused on the sexual adventures of showbiz figures like Warren Beatty, George Harrison, Vanna White, Timothy Hutton, Marcus Allen and Rod Stewart.
Dove’s founders, Michael Viner and his wife, Deborah Raffin Viner, are embroiled in two other legal cases, both as plaintiffs. They filed a libel suit against the New York Observer after the newspaper ran a story calling them a “smarty-pants couple” who founded Dove so they “could strut around Beverly Hills and pretend they were rich.”
In May, the Viners were edged out of Dove by other investors and have sued the company, alleging breach of contract.