Filipino pop star and actress Nadine Lustre’s lawyer says they “welcome” a lawsuit filed by Viva Artists Agency over breach of contract.
As ABS-CBN News reports, the lawsuit was filed on Friday (December 11) at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court. It alleged that Lustre had violated her “valid and existing agency and management agreement … by contracting independently with advertisers, promoters, and other third parties, in utter disregard of the exclusivity of her contract”.
The lawsuit claims that Lustre is exclusively contracted to Viva Artists Agency – the talent management firm under the larger Viva Entertainment group – until 2029. In January 2020, Lustre announced she had “terminated” her contract with VAA and that she would be managing herself, which led VAA to threaten legal action.
Now, Lustre and her lawyer Lorna Kapunan have issued a statement in response to the lawsuit. “We welcome the complaint and we are confident that the truth will come out about VAA being predatory, oppressive and abusive not only of Nadine but its many other talents,” Kapunan said in a statement to ABS-CBN News on Friday evening (December 11).
Kapunan is also claiming that VAA itself ought to be the party sued for breach of contract: “The contract is an Agency contract and Nadine is the Principal – and it is the right of the Principal to terminate the Agent when it is not performing its commitments under the Agency Agreement.
“We are prepared to prove VAA’s material breach of the contract. We are likewise prepared to show that VAA is guilty of tortious third party interference by its threatening/pressuring third parties dealing with Nadine in good faith and scaring them with potential court cases.”
Kapunan said Lustre had “every right” to manage herself especially during the “difficult pandemic”.
“It is her prerogative to continue to earn without VAA getting an unconscionable amount in agency fees which it does not deserve. This is not Nadine’s fight alone it is for all talents/artists who are similarly situated.”
Lustre first signed to VAA in 2009 as a member of the girl group Pop Girls in a contract that her parents had signed. The same year she rose to fame from her role in Viva’s 2014 film Diary ng Panget, Lustre renewed her contract, pushing its end date to June 30, 2024. The same contract was renewed again in 2015 and extended another five years until 2029.
In late October, Lustre released her debut studio album ‘Wildest Dreams’ on Careless Music. It arrived with an accompanying “visual album” touted as the first of its kind in the Philippines.