news 3 days ago

Fox Settles ‘Bones’ Profit Dispute

Variety — Gene Maddaus

Fox has settled its long-running profits litigation over the crime show “Bones,” during which an arbitrator accused top Fox executives of lying on the witness stand.

The arbitrator, Peter Lichtman, issued a blistering ruling in February, in which he accused Dana Walden, Gary Newman and Peter Rice of engaging a “reprehensible” cover-up of Fox’s behavior.

The plaintiffs — actors David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel and producers Kathy Reichs and Barry Josephson — alleged that Fox had cheated them out of tens of millions of dollars in profit participations.

Lichtman awarded them $50 million in compensatory damages and another $128 million in punitive damages — one of the largest such judgments in Hollywood history. Fox’s attorneys, however, persuaded Judge Richard Rico that Lichtman had exceeded his authority, and Rico agreed in May to set aside the punitive damages award.

At the time, the plaintiffs’ attorneys vowed to appeal. Instead, they settled the dispute on undisclosed terms. A notice was filed with the L.A. Superior Court on Wednesday morning.

“The parties have amicably resolved the litigation,” said Dan Saunders, who represented Boreanaz, Deschanel and Reichs in the dispute.

Fox declined to comment.

After the arbitrator’s ruling, Disney CEO Bob Iger issued a statement of support for Walden and Rice, who have taken on senior jobs at the merged studio.

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