This time, it’s personal. In May, Brian Schornak filed a breach of contract complaint against Jennifer Lopez’s Nuyorican Productions that accused Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas of pushing him out of the company. At the time, the former senior producer at JLo’s company didn’t actually cite Goldsmith-Thomas as a defendant, even though most of his complaint was about her behavior and treatment of him. Today that changed. On Wednesday, Schornak filed a new complaint (read it here) against the former manager and producer in LA Superior Court for damages over intentional infliction of emotional distress. “Plaintiff seeks to impose liability against Elaine for her intentional infliction of emotional distress that no person should endure, and which Elaine has a history of doing in the entertainment industry. Elaine yelled and berated Plaintiff in ways that no person (with human dignity) should be forced to endure,” says the four-page complaint. Calling Goldsmith-Thomas “the manager of Jennifer Lopez,” the complaint requests a jury trial and seeks compensatory and punitive damages as well as interest, legal fees and the usual “such other and further relief as the Court may deem proper.” Of course, today’s filing doesn’t mean the May complaint is dead.
A former senior producer at Jennifer Lopez‘s Nuyorican Productions is taking the company to court for breach of contract. In a five-claim complaint filed today in LA Superior Court, Brian Schornak is alleging that he was removed from the company’s shows like The Fosters and South Beach Tow and eventually forced out. And Schornak is very specific about who is to blame for that: former manager and producer Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas who was brought on board Nuyoricann in March but is not a defendant in the lawsuit, however. The complaint (read it here) claims she accused him of stealing from Nuyorican and relentlessly tried to get rid of him. ”Elaine demoted Plaintiff and attempted to push Plaintiff out, or get him to quit,” the complaint claims. Schornak says he was “compelled” to resign from Nuyorican earlier this year. In addition to breach of contract, the complaints claims breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, as well as violations of the California labor code. Schornak is seeking unspecified compensatory, general and special damages in a 3-day jury trial. He is represented by Stephen Kernan of Santa Monica’s Kernan Law Firm.
EXCLUSIVE: Jennifer Lopez is developing an hour-long drama for ABC Family. The so far untitled series is about a lesbian couple who suddenly have their already child heavy household turned upside down when a wayward teenage girl moves in. One of the mothers is a cop, the other is a private school teacher. They have one biological son and adopted teen twins, one a boy, the other a girl. The American idol judge is said to be planning to guest star in the show. Lopez will executive produce the series, which the network is fast tracking, with Simon Fields, her partner at Nuyorican Productions. Peter Paige and Brad Bredeweg, the creators and writers of the show, will also executive produce. Greg Gugliotta, who has worked with ABC Family before on movies like 2003’s Beautiful Girl, is also on board as an executive producer on the show. Executive Mina Lefevre is shepherding the show at ABC Family. Lopez is repped by UTA and managed by Benny Medina.
AOL unveiled its slate of original programming today featuring more than 15 Web series targeting specific audience demographics in partnership with the likes of Jennifer Lopez’s Nuyorican Productions (Tiger Beat Entertainment), Mark Burnett (CliffsNotes Films) and Vuguru (Little Women, Big Cars). Each series will be programmed and distributed across AOL Huffington Post Media Group sites and many will be produced in-house at AOL Studios in Los Angeles and New York; some go live today and others will be rolled out over time. Here’s the slate:
EXCLUSIVE: Fox is expanding its relationship with American Idol star Jennifer Lopez to the scripted side. The network has bought a family dramedy project from Ugly Betty creator Silvio Horta, which he is executive producing with Lopez. Sony Pictures TV, where Horta is under an overall deal, is producing the dramedy, which has landed a script commitment with penalty.
The project, inspired by an idea of Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly, had been earmarked for Fox ever since Horta started developing it at Sony several months ago. It is about a Latino family and centers on three sisters and their interlinked lives. Horta will write the script and executive produce with Lopez and her producing partner at Nuyorican Prods Simon Fields. Lopez, who started in TV as a dancer on In Living Color and actress on several series, has stayed connected to the small screen as a producer and now as judge on Idol. Nuyorican Prods’ reality series South Beach Tow was recently renewed for a second season by TruTV. Horta is with WME, Lopez with UTA.
TruTV has ordered 13 additional episodes of its new reality series South Beach Tow, from Jennifer Lopez’s Nuyorican Prods and Bodega Pictures. In its first season-to-date, the series about the family-run Tremont Towing has averaged 1.6 million viewers; 834,000 adults 18-49. The summer finale of South Beach Tow airs tomorrow, while newly ordered episodes are slated to begin airing in early 2012.