LAS VEGAS (CN) – The son of the late Buddy Hackett says his former business partners conned him out of his rights to a Rat Pack-inspired musical he wrote. Sandy Hackett claims he wrote “The Tribute to Frank, Sammy, Joey and Dean” aka”The Rat Pack Is Back” in 2001.
The show has been running in Las Vegas since 2002, with the plaintiff playing the role of Joey Bishop.
Hackett says defendant Richard Feeney “orchestrated a campaign of causing marital discord” between Hackett and his wife, “in an effort to make it appear that [Hackett] had to sell his interest” in the show.
“Defendant Feeney carried on a bitter campaign in the press maligning plaintiff’s wife, fueling marital problems for plaintiff and causing plaintiff to be distraught,” the lawsuit states.
Hackett’s wife filed for divorce on Sept. 5, 2006. The next month, “seeking to take advantage of plaintiff,” Feeney and Arthur Petrie convinced Hackett to sell his membership interests for $40,000, “a fraction of its true value,” to “prevent any prospect of plaintiff’s wife having any input or control” over the show, according to the complaint.
Hackett says the defendants told him the sale of his rights would be in name only, and he could to take back his interest at any time. Hackett and his wife did not divorce, however, and Hackett says he tried to cancel the contract by returning the $40,000.
But by 2009, tensions arose over marketing and production of the show, and on Sept. 9, defendants cut him out, Hackett says. Hackett says he cheated of his rights to the show; he seeks damages for copyright infringement, fraud and breach of contract, among other things.
The Plaza Hotel and Casino, where the show is running, also is named as a defendant.
Hackett is represented by Howard King with King Holmes Paterno of Los Angeles. His father, Buddy Hackett, died in 2003.