LAS VEGAS (CN) – The producer of the Donny & Marie Show at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino says the squeaky-clean headliners tried to muscle him out of profits after the show was extended into 2012.
“Contrary to the wholesome, all-American, good-natured image that he presents to the public, defendant Donny’s conduct … has been anything but,” the lawsuit states. “He has conducted himself in a manner that is underhanded, devious, fraudulent and greedy. The clear goal of his actions has to line his own pockets with ill-gotten gains to fund his lavish lifestyle of exotic cars, luxury hotel suites and private jets – all off the backs and hard work of those who worked tirelessly to support his career.’
The lawsuit, filed in Clark County Court, continues: “Despite Marie’s seemingly innocent nature, she too is liable for the fraud perpetuated by Donny through her acquiescence, awareness and utter failure to disclose … the steps taken by Donny to deceive [producer Chip Lightman] and circumvent their contractual obligations.”
In April 2008, the Osmonds and Chip Lightman Entertainment agreed to mount the show. The siblings were to get a base salary of $1.6 million and 40 percent of gross box office receipts of the show more than $250,000 each.
Donny also got a two-bedroom suite at the hotel where the show was performed, and limousine car service during the run. Marie got a $10,000 per month housing allowance, according to the lawsuit.
But then Donny was invited to participate on Dancing with the Stars, which he later won. His participation required Lightman and the Flamingo “to modify their schedule and even cancel some of the performances of the Donny & Marie Show.”
Despite the pared down schedules, Lightman waived its rights to reduce the performers’ compensation.
“Despite making millions of dollars from Lightman as a result of his production of the Donny & Marie Show, Donny was still in financial limbo,” the lawsuit states. “Due to the declining economy, poor investments and his extravagant lifestyle, through his run at the Flamingo Donny lived paycheck to paycheck scraping by to cover his own expenses.”
Through his run at the Flaming, Donny “sought out ways to cut his costs and thereby increase his profits.”
“In hopes of saving even more money, Donny concocted a scheme to try to cut his entertainment agency, William Morris Agency, out of the two-year extension and the commissions it would be rightfully entitled under its agreements.”
In August 2010, Donny approached Lightman and proposed a restructured deal, the lawsuit states. “Donny proposed that [Lightman] assign its agreement with the Flamingo … to Donny and Marie’s production company, Adlonni, and that Lightman take on a new role with the show for identical compensation.”
According to the lawsuit, “Donny explained to Lightman that the restructuring could enable Donny and Marie to cut the William Morris Agency out of any commissions that would otherwise be due for the two-year extension. In other words, Donny had devised a plot to defraud the William Morris Agency.”
Lightman says he refused, and that’s when Donny “set his sights on cutting both William Morris Agency and [Lightman] out of the extension.”
Lightman says Donny approached the Flamingo about the extension and “lied to the Flamingo by denying that either he and/or Marie had ever agreed to extend the producer agreements,” the lawsuit states.
Donny’s “deceitful conduct even went further as he spread lies to Flamingo representatives and others in the entertainment industry that he and Marie had terminated Lightman … and that Lightman [was] engaged in manipulating numbers related to Donny’s compensation.”
In late summer 2010, Donny then “held the Donny & Marie Show hostage by failing to take the state unless Lightman agreed to assign [its] rights to Aldonni and take a 50 percent pay cut to serve as the producer of the show during the extension term.”
After a heated exchange, Donny relented and took the stage nearly a half-an-hour late.”
Donny then threatened Flamingo personnel that he would not perform the extended run if the Flamingo “did not terminate any and all agreements it had” with Lightman.”
The Flamingo terminated the agreement.
Lightman seeks unspecified damages for breach of contract, unjust enrichment, fraud and defamation among other things.
Along with Donald C. Osmond and Olive Marie Osmond, also named as defendants in the lawsuit are Aldonni LLC, Donny Osmond Concerts and Marie Inc.
The lawsuit was filed by James Pisanelli with Pisanelli Bice.