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Judge Fines Actor Shandling $2,903

Courts: He says the comedian, who is suing his ex-manager, improperly refused to answer questions at deposition.

September 30, 1998|MARLA MATZER | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Actor/comedian Garry Shandling was fined $2,903 in Los Angeles County Superior Court and ordered to answer questions in connection with his lawsuit against his longtime manager Brad Grey.

The judge said the star of HBO's "The Larry Sanders Show" had improperly refused to answer questions during a June deposition.

Shandling brought suit in January against Grey, who is a partner in Brillstein-Grey Entertainment and was Shandling's friend and manager for 18 years. Grey also was a producer on "Larry Sanders" and the earlier "It's Garry Shandling's Show." Shandling alleged that Grey took advantage of the fact that he was both his manager and a producer to make sweeter deals for himself, at the expense of Shandling. Grey countersued for $10 million in March.

Shandling is suing for at least $100 million, which he says represents 50% of the profits from his work while with Brillstein-Grey.

In his ruling, Judge Ralph W. Dau wrote, "Mr. Shandling's conduct in this deposition was abusive." Dau said Shandling improperly, "time after time, refused to answer the questions that he had been asked."

In one example, according to the ruling, Grey's attorney, Bert Fields, asked Shandling repeatedly if he was "surprised" when Grey told him that he and Shandling would split the ownership stake on "Larry Sanders." Fields had to pose the question five times before Shandling gave a substantive answer.

Shandling will have to give another deposition in the suit, which is scheduled to go to trial in May.

Fields declined to comment on Tuesday's ruling. A representative for Shandling could not be reached for comment.

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