Networks Duking It Out In Court Today Over Scary Spice
Network NINE and SEVEN are back in court today to duke it out over whether the injunction to stop Mel B from being a judge on Australia’s Got Talent should still stand.
It looks like SEVEN is asserting they let Mel B out of her contract because she was having visa issues for some of her children. The allege they still wanted her for the The X Factor.
The Daily Telegraph has some emails between SEVEN and Stephen Belafonte, Mel B’s husband and manager.
The Daily Telegraph writes:
The case is set for a courtroom showdown today, with Belafonte expected to take the stand over negotiations he made on his wife’s behalf.
Emails exchanged between him and production director Brad Lyons earlier this year have been tendered to the court, showing the network’s attempts to finalise the terms of the former X-Factor judge’s contract release.
“We want to be clear that should Mel become available to work in Australia during the relevant (2013) period, it is with the Seven Network,” Lyons wrote on February 26. “I am wanting to give you what you want but I would look pretty silly if we let her out and she appears on a rival network! We know this isn’t the intention and that you can see we’re trying to help you.” Just weeks later, Seven obtained an urgent injunction to keep Brown off Australian television for one year after she agreed to join Nine as a judge on its Australia’s Got Talent reboot.
Two days earlier Lyons had written to Belafonte saying “to finalise the release, we agree you can do America’s Got Talent in the US so long as you don’t work in Australia during our original period … or if you do it is with the Seven Network.”
The court heard Seven had come to terms with Brown last December that they would be the only Australian network she appeared on from February 1 this year until January 2014.
But Belafonte wrote to Seven during talks in January, saying: “Please hold on everything as I’m dealing with visa issue.” That was shortly after the singer announced she would be moving her family to the US.
“In your dealings with (Seven) you indicated that Mel B was having difficulties securing visas for some of her children to travel to Australia and as a result may not be able to fulfil her contractual obligations,” Seven’s lawyers wrote to Belafonte last month.
“On the basis of those visa difficulties … Seven was willing to work with you to have Mel B participate in whatever way possible in (the) upcoming season of The X Factor.”
Legally I have no idea, but It will be interesting to see what the outcome is.