Disney star Vanessa Hudgens sued by music producer
By Steve Gorman
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Singer-actress Vanessa Hudgens of the made-for-kids TV hit "High School Musical" is being sued by a producer who claims she reneged on a deal to share her earnings with him after he helped make her a star.
In the lawsuit, filed on Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, plaintiff Johnny Vieira accuses the 19-year-old performer and her manager-father, Greg Hudgens, of breach of contract and fraud, seeking more than $27 million in damages.
Hudgens' record label, the Walt Disney Co.-owned Hollywood Records, also is named as a defendant in the suit.
Vieira, who describes himself as a music producer "engaged in the business of discovering and developing artists in the music industry," claims he and Hudgens agreed in 2005 to share equally in her advances, royalties and merchandising revenues.
That agreement was approved by a court, the suit says.
But Vieira says he was dumped from Hudgens' management team soon after she was cast in Disney's TV movie sensation "High School Musical."
According to the suit, they subsequently reached a settlement under which Hudgens agreed to pay Vieira a percentage of her earnings from her first three albums under her solo recording contract with Hollywood Records.
However, "it became clear that Hudgens and her new 'team' ... all directed by her father ... would take every possible opportunity to deprive Vieira of the benefits to be derived from the settlement agreement," the lawsuit says. Continued...