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Dispute between Simon Fuller and ‘Idol’ owner hots up

By | Published on Wednesday 10 August 2016


‘American Idol’ owner CORE Media has stepped up its battle with the talent show’s creator Simon Fuller with an attempt to set aside its previous agreements with the entertainment industry veteran.

As previously reported, shortly after the final edition of ‘American Idol’ aired earlier this year, US-based CORE Media applied for chapter eleven bankruptcy protection, seemingly in part because of demands made by Fuller for allegedly unpaid consultancy fees. Fuller has not had an executive role at CORE – previously called CKX – for some time, but continued to consult on the shows he created that the TV business now owns, which includes ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ as well as the various ‘Idol’ franchises.

CORE has been busy negotiating with its various creditors in a bid to come out of bankruptcy. But then Fuller filed legal papers requesting access to more information about the firm’s affairs, seemingly in an attempt to derail the deal that the media company was close to reaching with its other creditors.

A spokesperson for CORE criticised that move, saying that: “After extensive investigation and constructive negotiations, CORE Media is pleased with the agreement it successfully reached with its official committee acting on behalf of the unsecured creditors. Mr Fuller’s attempt to circumvent the process and disregard the work of the official committee is disappointing”.

And now the company’s lawyers have also responded, according to The Hollywood Reporter. They say of Fuller’s recent legal filing: “[This] represents a blatant attempt to harass the debtors at a crucial stage in these proceedings for the benefit of a single creditor who was obviously unhappy with the [official] committee’s conclusions”.

CORE’s legal response then goes on to request that the bankruptcy courts allow it to basically cancel previous consultancy agreements with Fuller, arguing that “the recent decline in the debtors’ businesses, coupled with the recent conclusion of ‘American Idol’ on American broadcast television, has caused the Fuller consultancy deed to become more burdensome then beneficial”.

It remains to be seen how Fuller and the courts respond.