Court decides who owes "Nash" money to Don Johnson

Sun Oct 3, 2010 11:26pm EDT
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By Paul Bond

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Among those who must pay Don Johnson his $51.7 million in "Nash Bridges" money are billionaires Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner and their 2929 Entertainment, the actor's representatives said.

A judge ruled late Thursday that it was Cuban and Wagner's 2929, along with Rysher Entertainment and investment firm Qualia Capital -- operated by Amir Malin and Ken Shapiro -- that should foot the bill for money owed the actor stemming from his partial ownership of "Nash," a TV series he co-created in 1995. Johnson starred with Cheech Marin in the cop show, which aired from 1996 to 2001.

Johnson was awarded $23.2 million in July, a sum that was bumped by an additional $28.5 million in September, but it wasn't clear who was responsible for paying out all that cash.

Johnson's legal squabble essentially was with Rysher, but the entity once owned by Cox Enterprises has changed hands a few times, and it was unclear who has been benefiting from lucrative international reruns of "Nash."

Qualia owns Rysher now, and 2929 owned it from 2001-06, so they are on the hook with Rysher for the money owed Johnson, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Stern said.

"'Nash Bridges' was my idea," Johnson said Friday. "Mark Cuban's company and Qualia took all the profits from the show's syndication. I feel vindicated that Rysher, 2929 Entertainment and Qualia are all being held responsible."

Johnson had argued, successfully, that "Nash" so far has generated $325 million in revenue, with $150 million of that coming from worldwide syndication.