×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Cecchi Gori awarded $15 mil in suit

Suit said Nunnari diverted money from film projects

Producer Vittorio Cecchi Gori has been awarded more than $15 million in his suit alleging that his one-time close associate Gianni Nunnari diverted money from film projects to his own company.

L.A. Superior Court Judge Amy Hogue ordered that a trust be set up to award Cecchi Gori income and expenses from films that Nunnari and his company, Hollywood Gang Prods., were to receive on projects including “300,” “Everybody’s Fine,” “The Departed,” “Shutter Island” and “Hugo Cabret.” She ruled that Cecchi Gori owned the rights to “Silence,” to be directed by Martin Scorsese, and that attorneys’ fees and other costs also can be recovered.

Hogue’s 50-page decision, following a bench trial, sets out a narrative in which Cecchi Gori’s father, Mario, a pioneer in the Italian film business, made a promise to Nunnari’s father to take his son under his wing and employ him at his various companies. Through the years, the younger Cecchi Gori established a close bond with Nunnari, trusting him enough to oversee his company’s Los Angeles office and rarely questioning expenses. But Nunnari, Hogue wrote, felt undercompensated, and starting with the movie “Seven” took steps to work as a producer for hire. Although Cecci Gori was aware of the “Seven” assignment, Hogue wrote that Nunnari’s outside work became so extensive as to become a “direct conflict of interest” as he obtained rights to material, commissioned scripts, and attached directing and acting telent to projects, and did not disclose his role as a “dual agent.”

In an unannounced visit in 2006, Cecchi Gori discovered that Nunnari was using the Los Angeles office to operate his own company, and shut the office down in 2008, Hogue wrote.

Nunnari had argued that he was free to act in such a capacity on “300” and other projects because Cecchi Gori was uninterested in such films, at one point wishing him “good luck” in respect to the Frank Miller graphic novel.

Nunnari also pointed to employment agreements in which he was allowed to work as a “non-exclusive” producer for hire and engage in independent production, but Hogue found that such contract language did not waive his fiduciary duties in his work for Cecchi Gori.

Niels Juul, who was brought in to restructure Cecchi Gori Pictures in 2009, said in a statement that, “There are other aspects of this case, other than civil, that we could explore, but we now prefer to shift our energy to more positive matters.”

A spokesman for Nunnari and his legal team said in a statement, “We are obviously disappointed with the judge’s decision and intend to appeal.”

Cecchi Gori was represented by Charles J. Harder and Marc E. Rohatiner of Wolf Rifkin.

Nunnari was represented by Timothy J. Gorry of Eisner, Frank & Kahan.

More Biz

  • Alan Horn Bill Tanner

    Alan Horn to Keynote Variety Business Managers Elite Breakfast, Bill Tanner to Be Honored

    Bill Tanner will be recognized with Variety’s 2019 Business Managers Elite Award at the annual Business Managers Elite Breakfast presented by City National Bank, which takes place in Beverly Hills on Nov. 13. Co-chairman and chief creative officer of The Walt Disney Studios Alan Horn will be the keynote speaker in conversation with Variety editor-in-chief, [...]

  • Smoke haze covers the Sydney Harbour

    Australia's Seven West to Merge With Affiliate Prime Media

    Australia’s Seven West Media has agreed a deal to acquire regional broadcast group Prime Media. The move is a further step in the consolidation of Australia’s traditional media industry. The two companies announced on Friday that Seven will make the acquisition entirely through the issue of new shares to the owners of Prime. Both companies [...]

  • Ron Meyer

    Ron Meyer Files $10 Million Suit Over Forged Rothko

    NBCUniversal Vice Chairman Ron Meyer has filed a $10 million suit against two art dealers, claiming they sold him a forged Mark Rothko painting in 2001. Meyer accuses Susan Seidel and Jaime Frankfort of duping him into buying the work. According to the suit, he was told that it would be included in an official [...]

  • Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein (L)

    Harvey Weinstein Seeks to Call Expert on 'Recovered' Memories at Rape Trial

    Harvey Weinstein’s attorneys are seeking to call an expert on “recovered memories” at his trial on rape and sexual assault charges. The defense has filed a motion asking to call Deborah Davis, a psychologist and professor at the University of Nevada at Reno. Davis is a frequent defense witness. She co-authored an article in 2006 [...]

  • Tekashi 6ix9ine Docuseries Coming From Showtime

    Tekashi 6ix9ine Docuseries Coming From Showtime and Rolling Stone

    Showtime Documentary Films today announced a new limited docuseries profiling controversial rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine. Titled “SuperVillain” and inspired by the Rolling Stone feature written by Stephen Witt, the three-part series will trace how a New York City deli clerk named Daniel Hernandez became superstar rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine — who racked up 2.6 billion streams and [...]

  • Fader Label Logo

    Fader Label Signs Two New Acts, Boosts Staff

    The Fader Label, home to Clairo, Matt and Kim and others, announced two new signings today along with three new hires on its staff. Charlie Burg and Zachary Knowles have joined the label’s talent roster, while Carson Oberg has come aboard as general manager, Yasmine Panah as project manager and Josh Hymowitz as label coordinator. They [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content