Michael Kassan Sues UTA for Breach of Contract, UTA Says It’s Suing MediaLink CEO for Misappropriation

MediaLink CEO Michael Kassan is out at United Talent Agency and is now suing the company for breach of contract and fraud. Meanwhile, UTA says it has filed a separate lawsuit accusing Kassan of “misappropriation of company funds.”

Further complicating an already complex situation, in his lawsuit, filed Tuesday, Kassan includes as evidence a letter of resignation he tendered to the company, dated March 6. In a separate statement, UTA says it fired Kassan “for cause” on March 7th.

Kassan’s lawsuit, obtained by TheWrap, accuses UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer and other executives of acting in bad faith when they acquired MediaLink. Among other things, Kassan says he was promised an expense budget of $950,000 to use “as he saw fit.”

In a statement provided to TheWrap, Kassan’s attorney, Sanford Michelman, said in part that UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer “had a secret plan to not honor the contract, and when Michael confronted him, Zimmer refused to honor the deal. As one would expect, when Zimmer broke promises and began to impede the success of MediaLink, Michael was left with no other option other than to resign and file this lawsuit against Zimmer and UTA for breach of contract.”

Michelman writes that Kassan’s contract held that he would be in charge of “the day-to-day operations and long-term strategy of UTA marketing,” in addition to the aforementioned expense budget. “Zimmer began to walk back these specific parts of their contract” after the acquisition was complete, Michelman writes.

“Had Michael known Zimmer would not honor their deal, he never would have done it,” the statement also said. “Michael’s first priority is the success and continued growth of MediaLink, a company he started more than 17 years ago, and he looks forward to ensuring its continued success in the industry.”

In its own statement, UTA said, “Michael Kassan was terminated for cause by UTA on March 7th 2024, following a thorough and exhaustive third-party investigation into misappropriation of company funds. We filed a lawsuit against him today and look forward to presenting the facts in court.”

The precise details of the allegations against Kassan have not yet become public; UTA’s lawsuit has not yet been docketed, but is said to become available on Wednesday morning.

UTA acquired MediaLink in Dec. 2021 in a deal whose terms were not disclosed. As part of the acquisition, Kassan joined UTA as a partner while remaining CEO of MediaLink, which retained its full compliment of employees. In addition, UTA rebranded its own marketing department as UTA Entertainment & Culture Marketing, which was made a division of MediaLink.

THR first reported on Kassan’s exit from UTA. Variety first reported Kassan’s lawsuit.

The post Michael Kassan Sues UTA for Breach of Contract, UTA Says It’s Suing MediaLink CEO for Misappropriation appeared first on TheWrap.