Writers & Artists Agency and former agency partner David Brownstein have settled their differences in a confidential settlement, according to a joint statement faxed from the office of Writers & Artists attorney Peter Haviland of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.
In June, Writers & Artists Agency locked Brownstein out of his office and served him with a $10 million lawsuit. Brownstein, who reps “The Sopranos” star James Gandolfini, was accused of “gross breaches of fiduciary duty, fraudulent misrepresentations and bad faith” in his negotiations with the shop.
Brownstein alleged that his contract provides for arbitration, making litigation inappropriate, and that the agency owed him hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The bad blood stemmed from the ugly and protracted renegotiations of Gandolfini’s “Sopranos” contract earlier this year. According to the Writers & Artists suit, filed in L.A. Superior Court, Brownstein tried to have his client Gandolfini pay commissions directly to him, cutting out the agency.
Gandolfini, who left Writers & Artists shortly after the agency filed suit, said, “Brownstein’s integrity is beyond question. He continues to be my agent and close friend.”
A few regrets
In the statement, Writers & Artists chairman-CEO Norman Aladjem said, “To the extent any of the reports made about this matter were interpreted or understood to question the integrity of either Mr. Brownstein or Mr. Gandolfini, that is simply not the case and we regret such inferences. We wish David Brownstein and James Gandolfini well in all their future endeavors.”
Said Brownstein, “Now that this matter is resolved, I look forward to exploring some of the many opportunities that have been presented to me.”