QUEENS (CN) – Linda and Burt Pugach demand $5 million from HBO Pictures and Dan Klores, who directed the documentary about them, “Crazy Love.” Burt served 25 years in prison for blinding Linda with lye; she eventually forgave him and married him.
The Pugaches says the defendants, and defendants’ attorneys, cheated them in a contract they were urged to, and did, sign without consulting their own attorney.
The Pugaches sued pro se in Queens County Court. Defendants include Shoot the Moon Productions and the law office of Franklin Weinrib Rudell & Vassallo.
The Pugaches claim the law office violated legal ethics by “their failure to give notice to plaintiffs that Klores intended to steal their life story film rights, especially in view of the fact that Linda was blind and could not read the contract, which Klores and Franklin Weinrib Rudell & Vassallo well knew.”
They claim Klores and Shoot the Moon shot the film after paying the Pugaches “$2,000 for a two year option” and “an additional $2,000 for an additional eighteen month option.”
They claim that after the movie was released for general distribution, they demanded that Klores pay them $120,000 to $175,000, as stipulated by the agreement, but he sent them only $46,000, and promised them 5% of his residual rights, which he has not paid, or accounted for.