UPDATE: Variety Media Adds Former Owners Reed Elsevier To Fraud Suit Seeking $10M In Damages


UPDATE MAY 8: Variety Media today added Reed Elsevier and Reed Business Information to its kickbacks and fraud case against branding company Beverly Hills Media Group. “Plaintiff has suffered damages in an amount to be proven at trial, which amount includes the principal sum of $10 million,” said the action (read it here) for breach of contract and declaratory relief. Variety Media says in its filing that Reed did not properly inform them of any supposed agreement with BHMG when the company was looking into and eventually did purchase the trade publication last year. The company has included former Daily Variety printers California Offset Printers in the suit too. Variety Media is also seeking a judicial declaration that Reed are obligated to “defend and indemnify” Variety Media from all losses, liabilities and claims that may come from BHMG and the ”Beverly Hills Entertainment Week” operating agreement between them and the trade. The 14-page complaint against the former owners of the Hollywood trade was filed in the Supreme Court of New York on Wednesday.

PREVIOUSLY APRIL 30: Variety Media today submitted a 14-page complaint (read it here) of fraud and six other claims against Beverly Hills Media Group for an alleged “blatant fraud and scheme involving illegal kickbacks and stolen revenues it recently uncovered being perpetuated” by defendants Beverly Hills Media Group. The LA Superior Court dispute is over a so-called ”Beverly Hills Entertainment Week” that never happened though $500,000 in sponsorship money was raised. Variety Media claims it had to “accommodate” the sponsor with “alternative sponsorship opportunities and activations at its sole cost and expense.” Variety Media seeks damages and declaratory relief against BHMG. Reference is made to an executive officer of Variety Inc. who is no longer with the company and is not named as a defendant in the complaint but was involved in the March 2012 operating agreement with BHMG. PMC, Deadline’s corporate parent, purchased Variety in October 2012 from Reed Business Information and now Variety Media, owned by Jay Penske, runs the trade publication. In a 71-page claim (read it here) of its own, also filed in LA Superior Court today, BHMG claims breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract against Variety Media. (Matthew D. Hinks of LA firm Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell is representing Variety Media. Steven Morris and Jonathan M. Deer of Beverly Hills firm Tuner Aubert & Friedman are representing BHMG.)

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