Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

PALM LATITUDES

THE BIZ : Their Money for Your Life

July 25, 1993|Barbara De Natale

In the slam and scrambling to come up with bail money? Sell your story to TV. That's what Amy Fisher did and look how well that turned out. It might have to be a long distance call, though, since KLM Films, the first in the controversial practice of helping notorious defendants negotiate bail in exchange for TV rights, is based in New York.

That's the company that, through agent Ron Yatter, found an underwriter for Amy Fisher's $2-million bail in exchange for the exclusive rights to her story. Subsequently, KLM co-produced "Amy Fisher: My Story" for NBC.

KLM was formed two years ago by Alfred Kelman and Phillip Levitan, who came to the partnership with major TV credits, including "The Last Days of Patton" (Kelman) and "Wallenberg: The Lost Hero," (Levitan).

Not content with sensational stories about dead people, KLM soon got involved with the Fisher case. "We didn't believe she would put anyone in danger," says Yatter. "We felt she had shown remorse for what she had done."

Nonetheless, the precendent they set has drawn quite a bit of criticism. "Something this controversial is always going to draw fire," says Arthur Berggren, a Santa Monica-based entertainment lawyer. "But there really is nothing wrong or unethical, per se. As long as the public has a thirst for sensational cases, the entertainment industry will continue to capitalize on it."

Meanwhile, KLM, which also handles non-crime-of-the-century movies, has guaranteed the $25,000 bail for JoAnne Ripic, the deaf woman from New York now on trial for allegedly helping kill her husband, and has gotten the rights to the story of Daisy Hutson, a retired postal employee from Queens on parole for shooting her drug-addicted and abusive daughter. Coming soon to a TV screen near you.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|