UPDATE: In response, Michael Camacho tells Deadline: “I was in charge of unscripted television at UTA when his agency signed several of the principal characters of Pawn Stars. I have never met or spoken to the former agents or the clients and was unaware of any claim.”
The former agents of the stars of History’s Pawn Stars today sued the network, executives Nancy Dubac and Mary Donahue, A&E and former UTA agent Michael Camacho for allegedly poaching their clients. Citing $5 million in lost commissions and damages (read complaint here), Venture IAB claims that it set up Pawn Stars’ Richard B. Harrison, Richard K. Harrison, Richard C. Harrison and Austen Russell on the reality show. The agents say they signed the group as clients in 2007 and again in 2009. Pawn Stars debuted on History on July 19, 2009. It was not long after that things started to go sour between the staff of Las Vegas’ World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop and their agents. “In or about January 2010, the Harrisons and Russell terminated the Agency agreements, and thereafter entered into agency contracts with Michael Camacho and UTA. As a result of the intentional interference with the Agency Agreements, Plaintiff has lost millions of dollars of income,” says the complaint. Venture IAB claims it’s “entitled to 10% of all compensation received by the Harrisons and Russell” from Pawn Stars.
“The Defendants were fully informed of the existence of the Agency Agreements and intended to disrupt that relationship so that Dubuc’s and Donahue’s friend and agent, Michael Camacho of UTA, could take over as Plaintiff’s agent,” it adds. Dubuc is the President and General Manager of the History channel. Donahue is History’s VP of Development and Programming. Until his resignation in October, Camacho was the leading unscripted TV agent at UTA. Venture IAB says it only found out about the allegedly coordinated plan to take the Harrisons and Russell over to UTA from a lawsuit filed against the Pawn Stars stars by their former manager Wayne Jefferies in October 2012. The plaintiffs are seeking a five-day jury trial. Venture IAB, Inc is represented by David Affeld, Christopher Grivakes and Loren Beck of LA firm Affeld Grivakes Zucker.
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.