MANHATTAN (CN) – Sarah Jessica Parker was hit with a federal complaint Thursday that says the high-maintenance actress torpedoed a multimillion-dollar deal by refusing to help promote a new line of jewelry with her name on it.
Represented by the Downs Law Group of Miami, Kat Florence Design Ltd. is based in Cyprus but brought its suit in New York’s Southern District, where Parker and her licensing arm Tandu Productions Inc., are considered at home.
The 14-page complaint says Parker refused to do interviews or attend launch events to promote the new jewelry line, and that she refused to wear the jewelry outside of pictures for the catalogue. Kat Florence says its offer to create a custom piece for Parker failed to appease the “Sex and the City” star.
Parker’s actions “essentially destroyed the viability of launching the line,” according to the complaint, which says Kat Florence had to shutter its new store in London after Parker cost it millions of dollars in sponsorship and publicity.
Along with locations in Rome and Berlin, Kat Florence says the London shop was opened for the express purpose of display the new line of jewelry after it entered into an endorsement deal with Parker to market high-end jewelry under her name in 2015.
Though Parker was initially slated to get $5 million for the use of her likeness and participation, the complaint says she later requested that the payment get bumped to $7.5 million over five years.
“Notwithstanding such agreement, she refused to properly participate and comply with her contractual obligations, making the success of this enterprise impossible,” Kat Florence says.
The jeweler notes that it emailed Parker in August 2016 to ask her to attend the initial red-carpet launch event for the Sarah Jessica Parker D-Flawless Diamond collection later that fall.
Though it put down $1 million in public relations and marketing for the event, the suit claims Parker didn’t respond for three weeks and then said the date and time wouldn’t work for her.
She finally suggested a daytime event from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on a Tuesday, which the complaint says “could not possibly work for the evening product launch that was being planned and was part of the contractual obligations.”
The event was ultimately canceled.
Kat Florence also accuses Parker of blocking out five months from November 2017 through March 2017 where she wouldn’t be able to promote the jewelry line due to her new HBO series “Divorce.”
This time period was right when the new jewelry line was anticipated to drop in time for the 2017 holiday season.
The jewelry company calls Parker’s busy schedule “understandable” but says that “if she was going to accept a substantial sum of money and further understand that substantial investment in time and money is being made due to her acceptance, she should further understand that she needs to follow through on her commitments and treat them in [a] manner at least equal to her other professional activities.”
Additionally, the complaint accuses Parker of balking at doing interviews related to the jewelry — which were to be answers to emailed questions, not an in-person interview — claiming she could inadvertently promote the new line by promoting her new TV show instead.
When Parker refused to attend the opening of the gem company’s new London store, the complaint says she again claimed to be too busy, despite the fact that she had been in London on a similar promotion tour for her line of perfume during the same time period.
The lawsuit states some customers have speculated whether Parker is even involved in the jewelry line, since Parker has not done promotions on Instagram — which would have taken “a matter of seconds to complete” — or supported the new line on social media.
According to the lawsuit, the relationship between Parker and the company has been strained for months.
During the 2017 Golden Globes red-carpet event, during which Parker was supposed to present the jewelry line, Parker allegedly refused to speak the company’s eponymoys principal or acknowledge any relationship with the company.
A cached webpage on the Kat Florence website, which has since been taken down, describes the collaboration with Parker as “A Merger of Passion and Vision” and shows several pictures of Parker and Florence working together and smiling.
“As a result of [Parker’s] actions, the line was never launched,” Kat Florence alleges, noting it closed its London store and wasted millions of dollars on publicity for the defunct jewelry line.
The company also “now has diamonds that cannot be used as part of the line in its inventory that were purchased specifically for this reason.”
A representative for Tandu Productions declined to comment on the suit.
Jeremy Friedman of Downs Law has not returned an email and phone call seeking comment.