‘Narcos’ Producer Sues Partner Over $1 Million in Alleged Unpaid Profits, Breach of Contract

“Narcos” executive producer José Padilha is suing the show’s director Eric Newman over an alleged $1 million in unpaid revenue and breach of contract, claiming that his producing partner did not report certain profits totaling in the “several millions of dollars,” which reneges on a previous agreement to split all incomes received 50-50.

“Despite Plaintiffs’ efforts to obtain information and documents from Defendants concerning their receipt of revenues, income, and proceeds arising from or connected with ‘Narcos,’ Defendants have steadfastly refused to meaningfully communicate with Plaintiffs or otherwise provide Plaintiffs with any information or documents concerning the revenues, income, and proceeds Defendants have received based on ‘Narcos’ and have concealed all information from Plaintiffs concerning payments Defendants have received from the exploitation and huge success of Narcos,” the suit, which was filed with the Los Angeles Superior Court and demands a jury trial, reads.

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As a result of his claims, Padilha is also suing for breach of fiduciary duties and seeking punitive damages, which while not yet “fully ascertained,” he believes to total over $1 million. The lawsuit asks Newman and his production company Spahn Ranch to provide a “full and complete accounting” of all the “revenue, income, and proceeds” that he received or will receive in connection with “Narcos,” excluding any addition money given due to his additional role as director, as well as EP.

“Despite Plaintiffs having made repeated requests to counsel for Defendants for information and documents pertaining to Defendants’ receipt of Narcos Revenues, Defendants have failed and refused to provide any information or documents,” the suit claims.

“Narcos,” about the infamous drug cartel leader Pablo Escobar, first premiered in 2015 and has since released six seasons. The hit crime show was among one of the streamer’s largest successes early on, garnering nominations at the Emmys and Golden Globes and catapulting Pedro Pascal into stardom.

Reps for Padilha declined to comment, while Newman’s representation did not immediately return a request for comment.

In 2018, former CEO of Gaumont Television, Katie O’Connell Marsh, sued the company (which produced “Narcos” for Netflix) for breach of contract, alleging that she hadn’t been paid her share of the profits from the series, along with other Gaumont-produced shows, like “Hemlock Grove.”

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.

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