Garner files ‘Files’ suit

Thesp sues studio for $2.2 mil, syndie profits

Rockford is on Universal’s case — again.

James Garner, who settled a previous suit against U out of court in 1989 for an undisclosed amount, is suing the studio for $2.2 million that he claims he’s owed in syndication profits from “The Rockford Files.”

His lawsuit, filed Thursday, seeks 37.5% of net profits from syndie. Garner accuses U of deceiving him and suppressing info about syndication.

Garner starred as Jim Rockford in the series that ran 1974-1980. Instead of paying him $25,000 an episode in royalties, U charged him a distribution fee, according to the lawsuit.

The fee “was a surprise to Garner as Universal did not, as Garner expected, attempt to sell … the ‘Rockford’ series to separate exhibitors for the best price obtainable,” the lawsuit said.

A Universal spokesman said Friday he was unaware of the lawsuit and had no immediate comment.

The previous lawsuit, filed in 1983, sought $16.5 million from Universal for fraud, deceit and breach of contract for paying the actor what he said was a mere fraction of the 37.5% of earnings from “Rockford.” An out-of-court deal was reached six years later, although it was part of Garner’s agreement with the studio that the settlement amount not be revealed.