James William Van Der Beek is an American actor best known for his portrayal of Dawson Leery in the WB series Dawson’s Creek and Johnny “Mox” Moxon in Varsity Blues (1999).
In early 1997, Van Der Beek auditioned for three television pilots. One of them was for the fledgling WB Network show Dawson’s Creek. Van Der Beek won the title role of Dawson Leery, and the show’s 1998 debut was a success that helped to establish the network and its cast. The series ran for six seasons and was syndicated worldwide. In 1999, he starred in the teen football drama Varsity Blues, which held the number 1 spot at the U.S. box office for its first two weeks. He won an MTV Movie Award for his role.
In court documents obtained by Us Weekly and The Blast, the “Dawson’s Creek” star alleges a breach of contract based on a deal he claims has been in the works since 2021.
Van Der Beek says the deal was worth a minimum of $700,000 with the star being paid 50% of the net ad revenue.
He continued by saying that he had dismissed other offers based on their contractual terms.
“However, relying on the contractual agreement reached with Defendants, Plaintiff stopped negotiating with other buyers and affirmatively rejected those other offers (as well as other acting opportunities).”
“[Van Der Beek] had other offers and potential partners to choose from in order to develop this project,” the documents read.
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According to documents filed in court, the show was going to focus on the actor’s career, allowing him to connect with fans of his television and film work.
“He would serve as the podcast’s host, conduct interviews, provide commentary and behind-the-scenes insight on past work, and share the kind of unique perspective as an artist, seeker, and public figure that has become the hallmark of his social media presence.”
Not only that, but he would have also discussed being a husband and father of six. He shares daughters Olivia, 11, Annabel, 8, Emilia, 6, and Gwendolyn, 4 (with wife Kimberly Van Der Beek), and sons Joshua and Jeremiah with wife Nikki Reed.
In a lawsuit filed in federal court, James claims that by spring 2022 the deal had been extensively negotiated, agreed upon orally and confirmed in writing in a series of phone calls and emails between himself and Defendants’ authorized representatives.
SiriusXM and Stitcher allegedly emailed the “Labor Day” actor in April informing him that, while they were “ready to call terms officially closed,” an executive higher up in the company had reviewed the contract and disconnected it.
According to James, during a July Zoom call, the company “reneged” on the deal, citing a “new policy” in which the finance team reviews all contracts and can choose whether or not things move forward.
“This was contrary to what Defendants said during negotiations when they represented to Plaintiff that the deal terms were created in conjunction with the finance, creative and sales departments’ input and approval. This was just a pretextual excuse to renege on the deal,” the docs read.
The actor believes SiriusXM/Stitcher should still be responsible for paying him at least the expected minimum, in addition to damages and attorney fees.
“By engaging in the aforementioned conduct, Defendants breached their contract with Plaintiff, resulting in the loss of the minimum guarantee as well as the value of using Defendants to build a brand and audience for this particular podcast series, as well as serve as Plaintiff’s gateway into the digital/podcasting space. As a result, Plaintiff has been damaged in an amount to be determined at trial, but which shall exceed $700,000.”
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Sources: Page Six, Wikipedia
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