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Friday, June 14, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Mike Ovitz Claims L.A. Gallery Stiffed Him

LOS ANGELES (CN) - Michael Ovitz sued an L.A. art gallery, claiming it sold one of his Richard Prince paintings on consignment but never turned over the money, and sold another one too cheaply - for $475,000 - and stiffed him on that one, too.

Ovitz sued the Perry Rubenstein Gallery and Perry Rubenstein, in Superior Court.

Ovitz claims he consigned two Prince artworks to Rubenstein: "Untitled (de Kooning)," and "Nobody's Home."

He claims the defendants sold the 2006 painting, "Untitled," in May, "but have yet to pay any proceeds from that supposed sale to Ovitz," and that they "secretly sold" "Nobody's Home" for $475,000, though the terms of consignment required the gallery to get at least $575,000 for it.

Not only did Rubenstein sell the second work on the sly, Ovitz claims, he did it after the consignment agreement expired, and "without obtaining Ovitz's permission, let alone disclosing the sale terms to Ovitz. Again, defendants have not provided Ovitz with any of the proceeds of the supposed sale."

Ovitz calls the entire setup "self-dealing that can only be described as Byzantine."

He adds: "Bafflingly, defendants have simultaneously refused to reveal material terms of the very transactions they purportedly entered on Ovitz's behalf."

He seeks damages and punitive damages for fraud, conversion and breach of contract.

Ovitz is represented by Eric George, with Browne, George & Ross.

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