Movie producer Joel Silver dropped his massive lawsuit against a New York art gallery over a Jeff Koons sculpture. The settlement came not long after the gallery called him out because his case had been secretly funded by billionaire Ronald Perelman, who previously had his own legal beef with the gallery.
According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Silver and the Gagosian Gallery mutually agreed to drop the case for good. The filing was submitted jointly by both, who indicated the lawsuit was done for good.
The decision to drop the case came just a few weeks after the Gagosian Gallery informed the court they recently learned Silver's lawsuit is actually being funded by Perelman and his company, MacAndrews & Forbes Company (MAFG).
They claim that during discovery, they found out Silver's legal bill for the case against them was being paid for by MAFG.
The gallery says this is an issue since they believe Silver has improperly disclosed information gained from the lawsuit to MAFG.
They point out that Perelman and his company are “litigious parties who previously sued the Gallery in a case involving unrelated work by Jeff Koons.” That previous case against the gallery was dismissed by a judge.
The judge noted that the disclosure that MAFG paid the legal bill for Silver was irrelevant to the case. A rep for Perelman tells The Blast, "Ronald stepped up to help a friend as he has many times in the past and was particularly willing to do so when his assistance helps root out manipulation and increase transparency in art market.”
As The Blast first reported, the lawsuit in question was filed last year by Silver against the New York art gallery Gagosian Gallery over a deal they reached for him to buy a yellow Balloon Venus sculpture by Jeff Koons for $8 million.
The deal called for Silver to pay an $800,000 deposit, followed by several $1.6 million payments.
Joel Silver claims he made $3.2 million in payments but then stopped making the agreed-upon payments for the next two years.
The producer claimed to have taken issue with the completion date being constantly pushed back. He tried to demand the return of his $3.2 million but the gallery allegedly refused.
They told him if he didn’t make the remainder of the payments, they would consider him in breach and keep his millions. He agreed to a revised payment plan but then Silver didn’t make those payments.
He sued demanding the return of his $3.2 million, plus an additional $6.6 million in damages.
Gagosian Gallery claimed in their response that Joel Silver did not have enough cash to complete the payments. They claim the producer has refused to make the agreed-upon payments he owed for years, citing money and “liquidity problems.”
They accused him of being in breach of the deal and wanted the case dismissed.
Jeff Koons was dragged into the case recently and agreed to be deposed in the battle.