GMA-7's Official Statement on Sarah Lahbati's 'Violation of Contract'
Homegrown Kapuso star Sarah Lahbati is now in the middle of battle against her mother studio GMA-7 after she decided to sign a co-management contract with Annabelle Rama - the mother of her real-life boyfriend Richard Gutierrez.
On her Twitter account @sarahlahbati, Sarah revealed three things about her recent career decision:
1) "I signed a contract with Royal Artist (Tita Annabelle Rama) as a co manager with GMA Artist Center..."
2) "I didn't sign with ICONS because they wanted to deduct another 15% on top of the 25% that is being deducted by GMA Artist Center..."
3) "Because of all of this uncertainty and stress, my family and I decided that I go back to Switzerland and study there :("
In the statement sent by Angel Javier, assistant vice president of the network's corporate communications department, a portion underlined that Sarah "has to perform and appear in programs and events assigned to her, and make herself available to faithfully and promptly fulfill all engagements contracted for her by GMA."
In addition, the female winner of StarStruck batch 5 also has to "address the issue of her walking out during taping, which caused the production team to pack-up, and incur an additional cost of 500k."
To date, she has two pending projects - Indio, a series topbilled by Bong Revilla; and Seduction, a film that will also star her boyfriend Richard Gutierrez and Solenn Heussaff.
Still according to GMA-7's statement, Sarah already asked for a one-month leave of absence last December.
Her reason, "to de-stress and unwind," was not approved by the management because of her "pending obligations."
Here's the full statement sent via email at 10:07, January 3 (published as is):
Last December, Sarah Lahbati unilaterally decided to take a leave of absence of one (1) month from GMA Network, because she said she wanted to de-stress and unwind. Because her reasons were vague, they were not accepted by management. While we understand that work in our industry can be stressful (as in any business), we believe that this is not only unavoidable in most cases, but also a part of what one does as a professional and/or performing artist.
Her leave of absence was also disapproved by management because of her pending obligations (i.e. Party Pilipinas, on-going promos and other endorsement commitments). However, on the evening of Jan 2, she tweeted that she will be going to Switzerland to study, despite the disapproval given to her last December on taking a leave. This is in violation of her contract, because she has to perform and appear in programs and events assigned to her, and make herself available to faithfully and promptly fulfill all engagements contracted for her by GMA.
At the same time, she has yet to address the issue of her walking out during taping, which caused the production team to pack-up, and incur an additional cost of 500k. She is therefore, currently under investigation and the network is still studying on what actions to take."
After the above statement was released, Sarah again aired her side on Twitter:
and why Gma is all of a sudden on the offensive. All the chaos started to happen when I declined to be part of ICONS management… — Sarah Lahbati (@SarahLahbati) January 4, 2013
this is what I get. I am not treated well and I haven't been treated well. In layman's term, "I'm treated like SH*T" — Sarah Lahbati (@SarahLahbati) January 4, 2013
I deserve better, I worked hard and never complained, but there's only so much I can take from all this bullying. I don't owe GMA any… — Sarah Lahbati (@SarahLahbati) January 4, 2013
money, in fact they still owe me. I finished filming a movie called Basement under GMA films, we started around August-early sept… — Sarah Lahbati (@SarahLahbati) January 4, 2013
not even a down payment. My mother asked my handler many times regarding the payment and until now there is no reply. — Sarah Lahbati (@SarahLahbati) January 4, 2013
The Kapuso Network again issued a statement in response to an earlier set of tweets from the StarStruck winner.
GMA Network pointed out that Sarah's request to take a leave of absence of one month from GMA Network to de-stress and unwind was disapproved because her reasons were vague and due to her pending obligations.
The Network also mentioned that Sarah Lahbati is under investigation specifically for walking out from a taping, which incurred a substantial increase in the production cost.
GMA Network's reply to Sarah Lahbati's latest tweets:
1) GMA maintains its position that Sarah Lahbati violated her contract with the network.
2) The walk-out incident from a taping of Sarah Lahbati is still being investigated. We welcome Sarah's denial that she walked out from that taping and her denial will expedite the action(s) we will take depending on the result of our investigation because there will no longer be any need to ask her to explain.
3) We are not going to comment at this time on the other statements of Sarah Lahbati that has no relevance to the violation of her contract with GMA.
4) Sarah Lahbati was discovered by the network and is a homegrown talent developed, trained, and promoted by the network.
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