Patrick Dempsey fighting tequila hangover

Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:11am EDT
 
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By Eriq Gardner

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - "Grey's Anatomy" star Patrick Dempsey fuels his auto racing hobby with tequila, but the ad agency that helped arrange a sponsorship for his team is claiming it was left high and dry.

E Image Agency is suing Patrick Dempsey Racing and tequila maker El Grado Spirits in Arizona district court alleging breach of contract.

The complaint details a very generous agreement.

E Image would be paid the greater sum of $3 million or 3% of sales; $3 for each case of El Grado tequila sold for the first 500,000; $2.25 for each case sold for the next 500,000; and $1.50 for each case sold thereafter; a monthly retainer; plus 12% of any money raised for Dempsey Racing.

But the ad firm claims it has been paid less than $20,000 so far, as El Grado has allegedly steered other marketing and ad agencies into its relationship with Dempsey.

The actor is currently practicing for Saturday's Annual Toyota Grand Prix in Long Beach, a race that pits celebrities against each other. (Keanu Reeves was the winner last year.) The race has raised eyebrows thanks to the sponsorship by Toyota, the automaker that's been suffering bad publicity thanks to problems with brakes. Sponsorships ain't easy.

 
<p>Cast member Patrick Dempsey poses at the premiere of the film "Enchanted" in Hollywood, California November 17, 2007. REUTERS/Fred Prouser</p>