Investor claims Will Packer, Robert Hardy cheated him out of millions.
Think Like a Man Too was the No. 1 film at the box office this weekend, and now it seems an early investor in the production company that made the film wants a piece of the action. Businessman Bernard Bronner and his company are suing TLAM Too producers Will Packer and Robert Hardy for "gross mismanagement" and "abuse of power," among other things, EurWeb.com reports.
The financier, who reportedly put $500,000 of his own money and raised another $250,000 for Packer and Hardy's production company Rainforest Films (credits include Think Like a Man, About Last Night and Ride Along), claims he has received “only a fraction of the initial amount that he invested in Rainforest” despite the fact that Hardy and Packer have made “millions of dollars” from the success of the company.
The trio’s business relationship dates back to the independent film Trois (2000). Bronner invested more than $500,000 in the film in exchange for a return on his investment and a profit based on Trois's performance at the box office. The film ultimately grossed more than $1.2 million at the box office and became the fastest African-American distributed film to surpass the $1 million mark, putting Packer and Rainforest Films on the map.
Now, Bronner claims that he and other investors in the film were not paid their share of the profits, and that he was shut out of the company's management decisions by Packer and Hardy. He also alleges that the duo gave themselves salary increases without informing shareholders, and ultimately dissolved the company this past May without his permission or consent. Deadline.com reports that Rainforest Films was indeed dissolved, but only after a vote of the majority shareholders. Packer and Hardy released a joint statement saying that though their "respective careers have taken us in different directions," they will "continue to support each other personally and professionally."
The businessman is seeking a trial by jury and punitive damages.
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