Ricky Martin’s former talent manager has issued a stark warning to the Grammy winner and Emmy nominee: pay up or reap the whirlwind. Specifically, in “excess of USD $3,000,000, or according to proof, and unpaid commissions are accruing on an ongoing basis,” reads a complaint filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court by Rebeeca Drucker against The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story star.
“Rebecca Drucker saved Ricky Martin’s career,” says the often taunting 15-page breach of oral contract suit from the “Livin’ la Vida Loca” singer’s manager from 2014-2018 and 2020-2022. “There is just one problem: Martin completely and maliciously refused to pay Rebecca the millions of dollars in commissions that he owes her under their management agreement.”
The jury-seeking suit (read it here) adds that “Martin has now threatened Rebecca and is attempting to force her to sign an agreement with a nondisclosure clause to silence Rebecca about the abhorrent behavior by Martin that she has both witnessed and endured.”
Unpaid commission dust-ups between reps and their former clients are a virtual sub-genre in the LASC docket. However, in the case of Martin and Drucker, the latter clearly and bluntly wants the former to know she “will not be silenced.” “For years, she protected Martin from the consequences of his reckless indiscretions. Rebecca did so not only because she was his manager, but also because she thought that Martin was her dear friend,” reads the suit filed by attorneys Joshua M. Rosenberg and Armound Ghoorchian at Venable LLP.
Now, with assertions of “a toxic work environment,” “a particularly ugly incident in Dubai involving Martin and his representative José Vega” in 2018, a “personal life …in disarray,” and “Martin’s nonpayment of taxes, and his substance abuse ,” Drucker and her lawyers have done little to hide the fact they believe they have the goods on Martin if he doesn’t settle.
Firing the cannonball of an unspecified “potentially career-ending allegation in September 2020” across the legal bow, Drucker and her team signal they may not be the only ones with the supposed goods on Martin. Amid the details of broken promises and commissions going from 5% to 10% as part of a short-term reconciliation is a perceived legal threat:
Rebecca not only acted to advance Martin’s career but also rendered services to protect it. In one example among many, in or around September 2020, Martin received a letter from a highly-respected litigation attorney in Los Angeles, California. Rebecca stood next to Martin as they read the legal letter for the first time. In that letter, the attorney threatened to publicly file a legal complaint against Martin if he did not pay money to resolve a claim against him alleged by this attorney’s client. After reading the legal letter, Martin collapsed. He expressed his extreme fear to Rebecca that if this threat were carried out, the consequences to Martin would be catastrophic.
In response, Rebecca quickly brought in one of the top defense attorneys in Los Angeles who Rebecca had previously retained for a client. Based on Rebecca’s advice, Martin retained this prominent litigator to defend against this devastating claim. Needless to say, the claim ultimately never saw the light of day. Once again, Rebecca saved Martin’s career with the exceptional managerial and advisory services that she provided to him during this ordeal.
While the minutiae of the potential scandal waiting to happen for the CAA-repped Martin remains under lock and key, lawyers like Rosenberg and Ghoorchian would be unlikely to make a statement like “career-ending” unless they’ve got something to back it up with.
“This complaint only scratches the surface,” is all Rosenberg would say Wednesday outside the filing. “Rebecca looks forward to having her day in court and prosecuting her claims in front of a jury.”
Martin’s reps have not responded to requests for comment about Drucker’s complaint or her. If they do, we will update this story. We do know that Martin is being represented in this matter by Lavely & Singer, with Andrew Brettler taking lead on the case.
Set to soon release a companion EP to his Latin Grammy-winning EP Pausa, Martin is also on board to star in the upcoming Apple TV+ series Mrs American Pie. The Abe Sylvia-penned and Tate Taylor-helmed comedy also features the likes of Carol Burnett, Kristen Wiig, Josh Lucas, Allison Janney and Leslie Bibb.