‘Friends’ Star Lisa Kudrow to Seek New Civil Trial After Letter From Juror

By ABC News

Jun 5, 2014 11:50am

“Friends” star Lisa Kudrow is going back to court to request a new trial after her lawyer got a letter from the foreman of the jury that decided against her in a $1.6 million breach-of-contract lawsuit brought by her ex-manager.

The Hollywood Reporter says it has obtained the letter, reportedly written by jury foreman Steve de Bode to Kudrow, which suggests possible jury misconduct. In the letter, de Bode reportedly wrote: “I firmly believe the majority decision was not correct,” according to the Reporter.

The Reporter also said the letter claims the plaintiff’s attorney gave “an unwarranted, untrue … attack of Lisa Kudrow’s character.”

De Bode, who did not reply to ABC News’ request for comment, reportedly went on to describe jury deliberations, claiming that one of the jurors was a former deputy District Attorney who he alleged used her influence to persuade other jurors. In sworn statements, three jurors have denied de Bode’s claim.

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Scott Howard won a 10 to 2 jury decision in February after a highly publicized trial in which he said Kudrow failed to fulfill a promise to pay him 10 percent of what she earned from re-runs of “Friends” and other projects.

Howard said that when he and Kudrow parted ways after 16 years of working together, the actress stopped paying him.

In court documents, Kudrow had claimed she had “no obligation to pay Howard” a commission after the two ended their professional partnership. Attorneys for Kudrow said that Howard was the actress’s manager, not her agent, and thus is not entitled to a commission.

Kudrow, 50, starred from 1994 through 2004 as the character Phoebe on “Friends.” She started out as  one of the lowest-paid actresses among the show’s six stars – earning $13,500 per episode. Starting in 2004, she earned more than $1 million for each of the show’s final 18 episodes.

Howard’s attorney, Mark Baute, is confident in the ruling that favored his client.

“Someone on ‘Team Kudrow’ needs to tell her what she needs to hear, not what she wants to hear. What she needs to hear is this: the verdict is righteous, it will be affirmed on appeal, you will pay Scott Howard 10 percent — interest while the appeal is pending, and you will owe even more money at the end of the appellate process …,” Baute told the Reporter.

Kudrow and her lawyers declined to talk to ABC News. They return to court June 10 to make the case for a new trial.

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