Remember When Garth Brooks’ Longtime Business Partner Sued Him?
Garth Brooks is widely considered one of the nicest guys in country music, but a 2013 lawsuit from a former business partner alleged that he was hiding a darker side from the public.
On April 15, 2013, Lisa Sanderson — Brooks' former partner in a production company called Red Strokes Entertainment — sued him for $425,000 in a Los Angeles court, alleging that he had caused her financial damage by repeatedly turning down offers for work.
Sanderson worked with Brooks for 20 years, during which time they co-produced a 2001 Christmas movie for Turner Network Television. Whoopi Goldberg starred in Call Me Claus, and while Sanderson's bio listed other movies and projects that she and Brooks had in the pipeline — including an ill-fated movie titled The Lamb in which he was to star — she alleged in her court filing that he had scuttled one opportunity after another by making outrageous demands, including projects with Disney and Fox, as well as film roles in Twister and Saving Private Ryan.
Sanderson alleged that Brooks' public persona as "a humble and highly principled 'everyman'" was just a disguise, calling him a "paranoid, angry, deceitful and vindictive man who will turn against those closest to him on a dime."
Her suit came in response to a lawsuit from Red Strokes, which wound down its business by 2011 and then sued Sanderson in Tennessee, seeking to recoup loans the company had made to her that totaled close to $225,000. Sanderson's response to that lawsuit claimed that those sums had been gifts, not loans, and that she was further owed for production fees and a retirement package.
Sanderson's argument in the case relied on a verbal agreement she claimed to have with Brooks, but documents that his attorneys showed in court backed up his claims that he expected repayment. The jury in the case ultimately rejected Sanderson's claims at trial, finding in favor of Brooks and awarding him $226,000 in February of 2014.
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