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Former Manager Sues Joan Rivers For $2.2 Million

6/24/2010 8:26am EDT

Joan RiversJoan Rivers' former manager is suing the comic for $2.2 million, alleging he is owed money for resurrecting her "dormant" career.

Billy Sammeth, who was hired by the outspoken "funnywoman" in 2002 and fired in 2009, filed a lawsuit in a New York court earlier this week claiming he is owed unpaid commissions. In the filed papers, the agent lists the jobs he allegedly landed Rivers and states he is still owed 10 per cent of her earnings, totaling $200,000.

He is also seeking $2 million in exemplary and punitive damages, accusing the star of defaming him in her recent TV documentary, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work. Sammeth goes on to claim he rebuilt Rivers' career at a time when she was struggling to land jobs - insisting she went from working 12 shows a year to 40.

A rep for the comedienne says, "This is the claim of a former personal manager, who was properly terminated over one year ago. Billy Sammeth is now making claims for money to which he is not entitled, and I am confident that the judicial system will dispose of Mr. Sammeth's lawsuit in the appropriate manner."

Joan Rivers



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