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Friday, December 8, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Oksana Baiul Sues William Morris Agency

LOS ANGELES (CN) - Ukrainian Olympic gold medalist Oksana Baiul sued the William Morris Agency, claiming it cheated her of earnings, royalties and residuals after signing her when she was a minor and did not understand English.

Baiul, 35, and her company Oksana Ltd. sued William Morris Endeavor Entertainment and its affiliates in Superior Court, alleging breach of contract, concealment, intentional misrepresentation and other claims.

William Morris signed Baiul in 1994 as a 16-year old, and renewed the agreement three years later, according to the complaint. The skater says that when she entered into the contracts she could not read or speak English.

More than a decade later, Baiul's manager discovered that while William Morris had collected $9.5 million on her behalf, it had failed to go after fees she was owed, and had executed contracts to transfer some of her earnings to "legal strangers" - Olympic Champions Ltd. and Ukrainian Financial Group, according to the complaint.

Baiul claims that William Morris failed to account for $150,000 from a line of jewelry, a $100,000 advance and royalties for greeting cards and stationery, and earnings from TV specials, books, an infomercial, and other film and television contracts.

The agency transferred $200,000 of her earnings to settle a dispute between Olympic Champions Ltd. and Ukrainian Financial Group agents, and took larger than agreed-upon fees, the complaint states.

Baiul was a champion in figure skating singles at the seventeenth Winter Olympics in 1994, and was world champion in 1993.

She seeks at least $1 million in damages, for false promise, interference with prospective economic relations, conversion, the charges noted above, and others.

She is represented by Michael Eidel with Fox Rothschild.

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