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Monday, June 24, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Tom Sizemore Caught in Middle, Manager Says

LOS ANGELES (CN) - An independent filmmaker sued Tom Sizemore, claiming the actor reneged on an agreement to play a CIA agent in a sci-fi movie called "Caller ID" - though the actor's manager claims Sizemore never agreed to anything, and that his signature was forged.

Director Eric Zimmerman and Caller ID LLC sued Sizemore, 52; his loan-out company, Going Public; and five other people, including Sizemore's former manager Ryan Johnson, in Superior Court.

Also sued are Los Angeles County residents Sekou Henderson, Damian Zellous, Bill Hudson and Brett Hudson. The Hudsons performed in a pop band together, and Bill Hudson is the ex-husband of Goldie Hawn, with whom he had daughter Kate Hudson.

Zimmerman claims that Sizemore agreed to appear in the movie in an Aug. 25, 2010 letter of intent, which is attached as an exhibit to the complaint.

The letter states: "I, Tom Sizemore, agree to attach myself to the film project called 'Caller ID,' pending agreeable contractual terms, conditions and availability.

"I look forward to working with Mr. Zimmerman. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this matter please feel free to contact my manager, Ryan Johnson ..."

Johnson then gave Zimmerman a deal memo that outlined the terms under which Sizemore would appear, according to the lawsuit. A copy of the signed agreement is also attached as an exhibit.

The memo stipulates that Sizemore would be paid $258 a day, plus 10 percent for each day worked, under a Screen Actors Guild low-budget agreement, and would get a private dressing room or "star trailer." It says that the shooting schedule would be "1-2 days total."

Sizemore's present manager, Charles Lago, with Polimedia Communications, told Courthouse News that Sizemore has "absolutely nothing" to do with the lawsuit and claimed his signature was forged. Johnson had stolen $20,000 from the actor before he was fired, Lago added.

"Ryan Johnson, when he signed the documents that are entered into the evidence, wasn't even his manager," Lago said in a voice message. "I had been his manager at that time for six months. The signatures are not Tom's signatures. I have dozens and dozens and dozens of Tom's real signature on contracts and legal forms, and they do not match. His signature is pretty consistent."

But Zimmerman claims in his lawsuit that he was confident Sizemore would appear in the film, and that he agreed to pay Henderson, Zellous and Johnson $47,000 in seed money as a gesture to show his intention to get the film made.

The lawsuit does not state what roles, if any, Henderson and Zellous played in the making of the movie. It states that the two men knew Johnson and told Zimmerman they could use that relationship to persuade Sizemore to sign on to the film.

Zimmerman claims that Bill Hudson, who was considering investing in the movie, told him later that Sizemore and Johnson had parted ways, and that the actor neither received the seed money, nor agreed to appear in the flick.

Zimmerman claims that when he confronted Henderson, Zellous and Johnson, they agreed to pay him a $47,000 settlement. And he claims that Hudson told him he had hired an attorney so the filmmaker could take legal action against Sizemore and the three other men.

Zimmerman says he paid Hudson $17,000 to reimburse him for legal fees.

"After the settlement agreement was entered into, Hudson represented and warranted to Zimmerman that they could and would obtain investors to fund the cost of the film in exchange for Zimmerman agreeing to give them a percentage of the profits generated by the film," the complaint states.

Zimmerman claims he never received the settlement and never found a distributor for the film, which premiered at the Boston Science Fiction Film Festival in early 2010, according to industry website IMDB.com.

Lago, however, said Zellous and Johnson "worked in cahoots to defraud Zimmerman, and then Hudson then came in and he did the same thing."

"Tom was just caught in the middle. Tom at the time was not represented by Ryan Johnson, and hadn't been for almost eight months. And that's all documented and proven. Tom has nothing absolutely to do with it. He's just been dragged into it, obviously, because of his name," Lago said.

Sizemore was a go-to supporting actor of the 90s, appearing in "True Romance," "Natural Born Killers," "Heat" and "Saving Private Ryan," among other acclaimed movies. In 2010, the actor spent a season on television show "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew."

Zimmerman seeks at least $500,000 in damages for lost profits, and damages for the unpaid settlement and attorney fees he claims to have paid to Hudson. He alleges breach of contract, fraud, intentional interference with prospective economic advantage and common counts for money paid.

Zimmerman is represented by Whitney Ackerman.

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