An out of court settlement has been reached in a lawsuit involving two fashion models and talent agent Lynn Venturella, which alleged that she used the model’s images without their permission. Uliana Sivashova and Natalie White were hired to do a photo shoot in Las Vegas at the Gansevoort Hotel, which was being developed by Caesars at the time. When Caesars dropped development plans for the Gansevoort, and instead built another hotel, the Cromwell Las Vegas, Sivashova learned that her image was being used without her permission on items for sale in the hotel gift shop. When she filed suit against the Cromwell, she learned that the hotel company had previously paid a $78,000 settlement to Venturella. Apparently, Venturella had forged the two model’s signatures on the settlement document, and kept all the money for herself.
This isn’t the first lawsuit Venturella has faced. She is currently dealing with another lawsuit against her former company, Pinkerton Model & Talent Co., which has a long history of lawsuits against it, with at least 25 separate claims in Small Claims Court, and 25 claims filed in civil court. Her former clients have accused her of pocketing fees owed for acting and modeling work, making false promises and pressuring them into spending money without their best interests in mind. Venturella herself has admitted to taking money owed to her clients to pay agency debts.
Talent scams have unfortunately been an all too present problem in Hollywood. In 2009, complaints about abuses by second-tier talent representatives prompted California state legislature to pass the Krekorian Talent Scam Prevention Act, which prohibits agents and others who represent performers from charging any fees other than commissions and reimbursements for out-of-pocket expenses. Unfortunately, many young Hollywood hopefuls are scammed out of wages because many artists do not have the resources to pursue legal action.
If you feel you have been taken advantage of by your place of employment the lawyers of Hodes Milman Liebeck can provide you with the assistance you need. Contact us today online at hmlm.com or call 866-730-1976 for a complimentary case evaluation.