LOS ANGELES (CN) – Raw Talent management company claims “reality” TV actress Bethenny Frankel “fleeced it of an estimated $12 million in commissions” after it helped her develop and market the Skinnygirl Cocktail brand that she sold recently for $120 million.
Los Angeles-based Raw Talent sued Frankel in Superior Court.
It claims Frankel hired it in the summer of 2008, and promised it 10 percent commission on her earnings.
In August that year, Raw Talent says, Frankel asked for its “counsel and advice in order to market and develop Frankel’s low calorie Skinnygirl cocktail line.”
It says she “was able execute a deal” for the brand after Raw Talent provided her “months of … career guidance, and managing her professional affairs.”
Frankel already was a cast member of “Real Housewives of New York City.” Raw Talent claims she also asked it to help her get her own series. She now has it – “Bethenny Ever After.”
Raw Talent says that after confirming in an Aug. 8, 2008 email that she had hired it, Frankel fired it “without explanation” on Nov. 25 that year.
A few days later, Raw Talent says, Frankel signed the deal to develop and market Skinnygirl Cocktails.
In March this year, Raw Talent says, “Frankel sold her interest in Skinny Girl Cocktail Brand to Fortune Beam Global Spirits & Wine Inc. for a purported $120 million. Notwithstanding her clear and unambiguous agreement and obligation to pay Raw Talent its 10 percent commission, Frankel now refuses,” the complaint states.
Raw Talent adds that before she fired it, Frankel “expressly represented that any agreement relating to the exploitation of the Skinnygirl Cocktail Brand would be commissionable under their management agreement.”
Raw Talent says that by suing, it “seeks to set the record straight by disclosing the facts surrounding Frankel’s rise to success, hold Frankel liable for her deceitful and greedy conduct, and punish Frankel for her callous disregard for Raw Talent’s rights.”
Raw Talent demands $12 million, as its 10 percent commission for Skinnygirl, and punitive damages. It alleges fraud, breach of oral contract, and breach of faith. It is represented by Bryan Freedman with Freedman & Taitelman, and by Joshua Blum.