%u2018Crash%u2019 Lawsuit %u2013 Bitter Fight Over Credit and $$$ for Best Film
3/6/2006 5:06 PM PT
Allegations of betrayal, out-of-control egos and greed By TMZ.COM STAFF
(Mar. 6, 1:20AM ET) -- Two producers allege in a lawsuit that an “outsider” financially and creatively raped them in a quest for fortune and glory.
In a suit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Cathy Schulman and Tom Nunan claim that Bob Yari “succumbed to his greed and ego” by allegedly underwriting ‘Crash,’ then allegedly wrestled it away from them.
Schulman and Nunan claim that Yari has refused to pay them for their share of their fees for ‘Crash’ and other projects.
The suit reads like a lurid novel. Schulman and Nunan claim that Yari acted like “an impetuous child” when ‘Crash’ was nominated for various awards.
Schulman and Nunan claim that Yari’s alleged misdeeds are about glory as much as money. They allege Yari was able to wrestle credit for ‘Crash’ away from them and thereby rob them of the ability to get the all-important bounce from the movie that would make them more desirable to the Hollywood machine.
An interesting note in the lawsuit – the bankroll to film ‘Crash’ totaled only $10 million, small potatoes in Hollywood. The movie has generated more than $175 million in revenues to date.
The suit claims after the Producers Guild of America declined to credit Yari with ‘Crash,’ he went “berserk,” accusing Schulman of engineering that decision.
The suit asks for an unspecified amount of compensatory damages, as well as punitive damages.
In an independent lawsuit, Yari has sued the Producers Guild of America for denying him credit for the film.
Ironically, during the acceptance speech for Best Picture, Schulman thanked Yari several times for his contribution.