WWF Sues William Morris
Oct. 03, 2000
NEW YORK (AP) _ The World Wrestling Federation sued the William Morris Agency on Monday, saying it was duped by the talent and booking firm to give away a slice of revenues in a new professional football league.
In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the WWF said it is seeking the termination of a contract it signed with William Morris in October 1997.
The lawsuit alleges that three standard form agreements William Morris insisted be signed contained language that gave the talent and booking agency a percentage of creative endeavors that William Morris had no part of.
Among those projects was the creation of the XFL, the new professional football league scheduled to begin operating early next year, according to the lawsuit.
Don DeMesquita, a spokesman for the talent agency, said the company would not comment before it had studied the lawsuit.
The WWF said the contract contained ``archaic, one-sided, non-negotiable'' language.
It said the terms of the contact were printed in such small letters that they were difficult to read and contained contradictory language that attempted to let William Morris escape all legal responsibilities.
The lawsuit states that the WWF initially sought help from William Morris because it needed a heavyweight in the entertainment industry when it appeared it might lose television rights to the football league.
The lawsuit alleges that William Morris knew the severity of the WWF's situation and ``improperly exploited its unequal bargaining power to its unfair advantage.''
Calling itself a ``neophyte in dealing with Hollywood entertainment agents and anxious for William Morris' assistance,'' the WWF said it was tricked into signing away too much of its future.
Besides seeking a ruling to nullify the contract, the WWF also sought unspecified damages.