Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Chip Lightman's lawsuit calls Donny Osmond "underhanded, devious, fraudulent and greedy"

Chip Lightman knows how to hit Donny Osmond where it hurts: smack in the middle of his squeaky-clean Mormon image.

Lightman, who made his reputation as manager and sidekick to the late local superstar Danny Gans, filed suit against the wholesome entertainer last week after Osmond announced he was dropping Lightman as producer of the Donny & Marie show at the Flamingo (Lightman and Gans-- who died suddenly in May 2009--brought the brother-sister act to the Flamingo, in effect reviving their careers, two years ago, producing the show under the Ganslight banner).

Mike Weatherford of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that Lightman's suit claims Donny Osmond was "underhanded, devious, fraudulent and greedy," out to "line his own pockets with ill-gotten gains to fund his lavish lifestyle of exotic cars, luxury hotel suites and private jets," and acted in ways that are "contrary to the wholesome, all-American, good-natured image that he presents to the public."

"The lawsuit claims that Osmond conspired to cut Lightman and the William Morris Agency out of a Flamingo contract extension through 2012, and claims Donny threatened not to perform beyond next week if "the Flamingo did not terminate any and all agreements" with Lightman.

"The suit alleges that '(d)ue to the declining economy, poor investments and his extravagant lifestyle," Donny "lived paycheck to paycheck scraping by to cover his own expenses.' That, Lightman alleges, motivated him to try to cut costs and commissions.

"The Osmonds' attorney, Howard King, said Wednesday he had not seen the complaint to comment on specifics. But he wrote in an e-mail, 'Of course, we are surprised and disappointed that Mr. Lightman took such precipitous action, especially in light of the substantial sums he has been paid, despite the facts that he neither created, financed or owns the show, nor does he engage the 48 talented and dedicated people who produce and perform the show each night.'"

Weatherford reports that the lawsuit claims the Osmonds each had a base salary of $1.6 million, plus 40 percent of gross box office receipts over $250,000, and that the Flamingo obtained life insurance policies for both Donny and Marie in the amount of $5 million each.

He also points out that Gans stopped working with Lightman from 2004 through early 2008, but reconciled.

Donny Osmond spoke at Danny Gans' memorial service and is set to host the Danny Gans Memorial Champions Run for Life in nearby Henderson on Saturday.

(Mike Weatherford's also got a good joke buried in the story, so check it out here.)


Anonymous said...

I don't know how a Toyota Sequoia and a Smart Car are lavish! ROFLOL! Donny is one of the most frugal people I know. He has a very nice modest home and is far from broke.

The lawsuit reads like a tabloid article. It is one of the worse written legal document I have EVER seen. It is very obvious to me that Chip Lightman filed this suit to smear Donny and if he gained any monies in the end then that would be bonus.

Chip Lightman has a VERY long history of bullying people to get what he wants. This "lawsuit" doesn't surprise me because Chip couldn't get Donny to do his bidding.

Donny is a smart businessman and won't be had by the likes of Chip. There was NO signed contract and Chip finally got it that NONE of them want a thing to do with him.

Anonymous said...

I don't know either Lightman or the Osmonds personally, but I do find a few interesting points. Going through all the articles about this suit, you immediately see that Lightman has been involved in a number of previous dust-ups and legal actions. Donny Osmond has been in show biz for nearly all of his 50+ years and this is supposedly the first time that someone has seen that he has these business practices? Seems hard to believe to me -- particularly when all the shows that have Donny on for an initial project (DWTS, The Insider/ET, Disney, etc.) always invite him back to do other things. This is the age of tabloid journalism where everyone works extra hard to knock down "clean" images. If this were true, it would have come out earlier than 2010.

Another point is that the Osmonds sent out a nice, professional release -- complimenting Lightman -- indicating that their contract was ending. Lightman, on the other hand, sent out mean spirited tweets and immediately threatened to speak with a "tell all" book author. He's backtracking already, saying that would only be to address legal fees. Who is behaving in the mean spirited and devious manner he alleges? Sure doesn't seem to be the Osmond duo.

Anonymous said...

I personally don't care if Donny has 100 private jets, drives luxury cars and lives in a mansion...he earns the money and can spend it however he chooses. I don't believe he lives from paycheck to paycheck, but if he does that too is his choice. Entertaining is very hard business and the man works hard for the money he makes.

What I find troubling is the accusation that he is "underhanded, devious, fraudulent." If this were truly the case after 50 years would we not have heard this....merely attempting to protect your profit margins and look out for yourself is not fraudulent, underhanded, nor devious.....it is common sense!