Entertainment Law, Movies, Music

Garth Brooks Suit: Having Friends In Low Places Gets You Sued A Lot

That’s leading man material, right there!

Garth Brooks had disappeared from the national radar for a bit. For those who missed out on the turn of the 21st century career of the popular crossover country artist, imagine Taylor Swift, but a guy, and capable of going 10 minutes without complaining about dating.

Well, the allegations of a new lawsuit against Brooks brought by his former business partner may shed some light on the fading of the country artist’s fortunes. The complaint alleges rank arrogance on the part of a singer who thought he deserved film stardom and couldn’t lower himself to star in a Spielberg film….

Lisa Sanderson, Brooks’s partner at Red Strokes Entertainment, has sued him for $425,000. The complaint makes the typical Hollywood dispute claims of a former partner promised payments that were never received. But the more interesting aspects of the complaint describe Garth Brooks as the world’s least savvy Hollywood player.

Consider paragraph 25:

Sanderson introduced Brooks to Frank Darabont and arranged for him to write a role for Brooks as a sniper in the motion picture Saving Private Ryan, which was directed by Steven Spielberg (“Spielberg”). Brooks refused to accept the role, indicating that he wanted to be the star and was unwilling to share the limelight with the rest of the ensemble cast, which included award winning actors Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, and Edward Burns, among numerous other well known and critically acclaimed actors. Brooks further stated that although he idolized Tom Hanks, he did not believe anyone would ever want to see that movie.

In fairness, Matt Damon was not MATT DAMON when they were filming Saving Private Ryan, but whatever. Sanderson’s suit deserves to be thrown out if she continued to hinge her livelihood on the entertainment acumen that saw, “Spielberg directed, Darabont scripted, Tom Hanks starring WWII epic,” and said, “I don’t see the market for that.” You have a responsibility to mitigate your damages, yo.

The paragraph continues:

Spielberg asked Brooks what role did he want to play and Brooks replied, “a bad guy.” Spielberg then sent Brooks the script for the film Twister. Brooks also passed on that film, saying the star of the film was the tornado and Brooks wanted to be the star.

Wait, there was a bad guy in Twister? When someone says they want to play “a bad guy,” they mean a serial killer, not a rival meteorologist whose commits patent infringement.

On the other hand, the complaint suggests that Brooks might really be a pretty good actor:

During a meeting at Fox, Brooks presented music that he had in mind for The Lamb. Brooks stated that the music was especially important to him because the music expressed many of the same feelings that Brooks felt when his father died, and then began weeping openly. Sanderson was thunderstruck and nearly fell out of her chair during the meeting, since she knew that Brooks’ father was alive and well in Oklahoma. After the meeting, Sanderson confronted Brooks and told him she was stunned that he would lie about his father dying. Brooks looked Sanderson in the eye, chuckled and said, “but don’t you think it made the pitch so much better?”

It’s worth noting that Internet search engines weren’t very well developed in the 90s and people could just wantonly make shit up to secure business deals (see Madoff, Bernie).

The complaint goes on to allege that Garth Brooks blew an agreement to serve as the producer for Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and that Brooks penned a script for New Line but killed the deal because he refused a rewrite.

These allegations, while entertaining, are unproven, and I have a hard time believing Garth Brooks is capable of these things. It sounds more like a Chris Gaines move.

Click through to see the full complaint….

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