'The Butler' director Lee Daniels sued by Damon Dash over unpaid revenue

By Daniel S Levine,

Roc-A-Fella Records co-founder Damon Dash is suing director Lee Daniels, claiming that the Butler helmer has been cutting him out of profits from his films. Dash says he has been a big supporter of Daniels, but hasn’t seen any return on his investment.

News of the lawsuit was first reported by TMZ. Dash claims that he has been investing in Daniels’ movies since his first film, The Woodsman in 2004, which he put $2 million into. He has also helped out on Previous, which earned Daniels an Oscar nomination; The Paperboy and The Butler.

According to the legal documents TMZ obtained, Dash says he wasn’t given executive producer credit on the films and did not receive profits or royalties. He is seeking $25 million in damages.

“It’s very upsetting because there was a certain point where Lee was up-and-coming and Damon, as a music mogul and producer, really saw potential,” Natraj Bhushan, an attorney for Dash, told the New York Post. “Lee went on to a very successful career and all Damon wants is what he’s rightfully entitled to.”

Dash was recently evicted from his upstate New York vacation home for owing over $160,000 in rent, the Post notes. He is also in the midst of a defamation lawsuit against LA talent manager Simone Sheffield, who he claims said negative things about him in Hollywood. He is looking for $1 million from Sheffield.

Daniels has not commented on the lawsuit. He is currently in talks for The Brian Banks Story, which centers on a high school football player falsely accused of rape.

image courtesy of Kristin Callahan/ACE/INFphoto.com

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