Friday, October 8, 2010
– The former manager of Taylor Swift filed suit in New York, claiming Swift and her parents owe him money after launching her career.
Dan Dymtrow said he discovered Swift, signed her in April 2004 at age 14 and built her career before being fired in July 2005. That was just before Swift inked a deal with Big Machine Records.
In a story at Billboard.com, Dymtrow claimed his management deals with Swift and parents Scott and Andrea Swift said he should be paid a commission of at least between 5 and 10 percent from Swift's music career.
Dymtrow claimed he introduced Swift to Big Machine CEO Scott Borchetta, but was fired to avoid being paid. "They delayed and delayed (the deal) and got rid of my client and subsequently signed the deal and kept his commissions for themselves," Dymtrow attorney Fernando Pinguelo said.
The Swifts claimed that because Dymtrow failed to obtain a required court okay of his management deal with Swift, then a minor, she legally disaffirmed the deal in 2005. "For him to claim that her success and her major contracts were procured by him is ludicrous," said Swift's lawyer, Paul LiCalsi of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp. "And even if there were some merit to his claims, paying him on the contract would defeat the whole purpose of the law in New York, which is to protect minors who sign contracts."
Pinguelo said, "What the Swifts fail to realize is that the law also protects managers like Dan Dymtrow against minors and parents who take full advantage of his services without paying him what is owed."
In 2007, Dymtrow sued Swift and her parents, claiming they breached a management contract by paying him only $10,000 for his work. In March, U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan nixed six of Dymtrow's claims against the Swifts and Big Machine. He left an unjust-enrichment claim against the Swifts on the table.
On Wednesday, the two sides submitted a joint letter to the court asking for documents each hopes will prove their cases. In the letter, Pinguelo argued that Dymtrow was a victim of a conspiracy between Scott Swift and Borchetta to dump him.
Pingeulo cited an August 2006 e-mail from Scott Swift to Borchetta claiming to show how the two had agreed to fire Dymtrow: "Enough with the Dymtrow," Swift allegedly wrote. "You asked me to break both his legs, wrap him in chains and throw him in the lake. I did."
Dymtrow said he wanted access to papers he argued would show that his work directly resulted in Swift's multiplatinum record sales and skyrocketing career.
"Mr. Dymtrow seeks to prove that key deal points that were being discussed during his tenure were, in sum and substance, consistent with the points that were further negotiated and signed after his term as a manager," the letter said.
Dymtrow also claimed he introduced Swift to agents at CAA who ended up being her concert booking agent, so he is entitled to commissions from that relationship. LiCalsi refuted that charge. "To say that is worth millions is just the height of overreaching," he said.
No trial date was set.