Susan Chana Lask Represents Entertainment Manager Icon Billy Sammeth
1-18-11 Amended Complaint
2-8-11 Joan Rivers’ Answer
6-24-10 The Washington Post Joan Rivers’s former manager files $2 million defamation suit
6-24-10 The New York Post Rivers sued for defame & fortune
6-24-10 The NY Daily News Joan Rivers’ former manager slaps her with federal lawsuit
claiming unpaid fees
6-25-10 The Daily Beast The Man Suing Joan Rivers
Billy Sammeth, former manager to Joan Rivers for over twenty years and appearing in her recent documentary Joan Rivers: Piece of Work, filed a federal lawsuit June 23, 2010 in the Southern District of New York, alleging that Ms. Rivers breached her agreement with him and owes him nearly $200,000 in commissions, defamation damages, and profits from her film. Sammeth hired high profle New York attorney Susan Chana Lask to represent him.
Billy Sammeth reached milestones in his career as the manager of such celebrities as Cher, Olivia Newton-John, the Osmonds, KC & The Sunshine Band and Joan Rivers. Mr. Sammeth represented Rivers for twenty-three years, and helped her re-energize her career from twelve concerts a year to more than forty. He negotiated all of her television shows through the years, inside and outside the United States, including her recent winning performance in Celebrity Apprentice, in which he also appeared.
In virtually all of her interviews promoting the film, Ms. Rivers says Sammeth was a “missing manager” whom she terminated, and “Oh, and he’s suing me.”. Sammeth says that is untrue.
“Billy tried for months to amicably resolve this with Ms. Rivers. He wasn’t missing, and he wasn’t suing her – but now he is.”, says his attorney Susan Chana Lask. His complaint demands his past due commissions and money realized from the movie since Ms. Rivers uses him as a theme to pander public interest and sympathy to promote her film for her benefit while she harms Mr. Sammeth’s excellent reputation in the entertainment industry.
Missing was never a reason for his termination when he received a May 14, 2009 e-mail from the River’s camp stating “it’s time for her to go in a new direction.” “I believe my termination was based on her own financial issues to save herself money, and not paying management fees are a start,” says Sammeth.
“I have been a loyal ally of Joan Rivers for decades,” says Sammeth. “If I remain silent now, I am guilty of the same untruths she delivers throughout her film, which is unfair to many people, not just me.”