NEW YORK (Reuters) – Mariska Hargitay, who stars as detective Olivia Benson on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” has sued to stop a talent agency from claiming a share of her earnings from the hit NBC television show.
According to a complaint filed Wednesday in a New York state court in Manhattan, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment LLC early this month filed an arbitration claim in California seeking commissions and other sums for Hargitay’s work on SVU’s 11th and 12th seasons.
Hargitay said she had been a client of a predecessor firm, William Morris Agency Inc. But she said an agreement under which that firm received 10 percent of her gross earnings ended in September 2004, and that she dropped the firm in May 2009.
The arbitration claim “therefore came as a surprise” given that Hargitay never had or agreed to a relationship with William Morris Endeavor, and has paid all commissions and other sums owed, the complaint said.
William Morris Entertainment has several offices, including in New York and Beverly Hills, California, its website shows. No one at the Beverly Hills office was immediately available to comment. A call to the New York office was not answered.
Hargitay seeks a court order declaring that she has no obligations to William Morris Entertainment, awarding damages and other remedies.
Comcast Corp has a majority stake in NBC.
The case is Hargitay v. William Morris Endeavor Entertainment LLC et al, New York State Supreme Court, New York County, No. 651112/2011.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York)