Movie Mogul Silver|Sued for $1.3 Million

     LOS ANGELES (CN) – Film producer Joel Silver’s money struggles are laid out in a lawsuit claiming he owes $1.3 million to a firm that helps clients in financial distress.
     The Watley Group claims in Superior Court that Silver breached an oral agreement to pay it a 3.5 percent consulting fee after it helped arrange loans on the producer’s Brentwood, Malibu and Venice properties, and a second loan on his art collection.
     Once a Hollywood powerhouse behind the “Lethal Weapon,” “Die Hard” and “Matrix” franchises, Silver became an independent producer after the demise of a multimillion-dollar deal with Warner Bros. But he has reportedly kept up the lavish lifestyle that characterized his glory days.
     Silver values his Brentwood estate at $40 million and his property on Carbon Beach in Malibu has been appraised at $30 million to $35 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The entertainment magazine reported that Silver owns a historic Venice post office that he plans to convert into headquarters for his company, Silver Pictures.
     According to Watley’s Aug. 24 lawsuit, Silver told its CEO John Bryan last year that he needed to raise $8 million in two weeks to pay off high-interest loans, credit cards and avoid creditor lawsuits arising from “massive cost overruns” on his Venice property.
     Watley claims that in June 2014 it helped Silver secure a $13 million loan for the Malibu and Brentwood properties and that Silver’s production company Silver Pictures paid it a $404,500 finder’s fee.
     But when Watley arranged a deal for Sotheby’s to loan Silver $8 million on his art collection, Silver said he did not want to pay all the finder’s fees up front. Watley says it agreed to accept half upon closing and the rest upon closing of a real estate loan.
     In January, after a second real estate loan from Hankey Capital closed for $29 million, Silver refused to pay the fees, the firm says.
     Watley says Silver owes it a $280,000 finder’s fee for the art loan and $1,015,000 for the real estate loan, for a total of $1,295,000.
     It wants the money and damages for breach of contract, conversion and fraud. Also named as defendants are Silver Community Property Trust, Silver Pictures and Silver-Katz Property.
     Watley is represented by Christopher Grivakes of with Grivakes Zucker.
     A representative for Silver did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment Thursday.

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