MANILA — The management of Thai superstar Mario Maurer has warned legal action against Filipino comedienne Kakai Bautista, with whom he co-starred in the 2012 Star Cinema film “Suddenly It’s Magic,” if she continues to mention him publicly.
In a March 22 letter addressed to the management of Bautista, Artists Gallery Management — a copy of which was furnished to ABS-CBN News — Kwaonhar Nine Nine said it has been informed that Bautista “has continued to use Mario Maurer to attach herself without his knowledge or consent.”
Maurer, not only his talent agency, has “read false statements” made by Bautista, the letter said.
The legal counsel of Kwaonhar, Koraphot Jirachocksubsin, said they have consulted Maurer to “confirm that all statements and claims made by [Bautista] regarding her proximity [with Maurer] are hereby denied as false and untrue.”
Over the years since they worked together in “Suddenly It’s Magic,” Bautista has been asked numerous times in media interviews about her friendship with Maurer.
Their close ties at the time was first made public during Maurer’s 2012 guest appearance on “Gandang Gabi Vice,” where the running joke was that the heartthrob actor appeared to have fallen for Bautista, and not his leading lady in the film, Erich Gonzales.
Half a year later in March 2013, Bautista shared in detail her relationship with Maurer in a “Showbiz Inside Report” interview, turning tearful about their unexpected friendship.
At that point, Bautista had already met Maurer’s friends and family in Thailand, when she visited the country in February 2013.
That same year was the last time they spoke, according to Bautista in later interviews.
Bautista, 42, would be asked in the succeeding years to recall her relationship with Maurer. Notably, in December 2019 on “Tonight with Boy Abunda,” Bautista revealed that their communication suddenly stopped.
“Maraming nangyari. Na-hurt ako doon. Pero, naiintindihan ko,” she said, without giving the reason.
As recently as September 2020, Bautista shared a clip of their “Gandang Gabi Vice” guesting, as she reminisced fond memories with Maurer.
Maurer’s management did not specify an instance that spurred its letter asking Bautista to stop talking about the actor.
“By so using the name of our client, [Bautista] is improperly exploiting the name, image and reputation of [Maurer], his management, agents and representatives, and may be violating existing laws of the Republic of the Philippines and the Kingdom of Thailand,” the letter said.
It went on to “respectfully demand Ms. Bautista to conduct herself according to the rule of law,” by refraining from “any further use of the name of Mario Maurer or any reference to him, directly or indirectly.”
Kwaonhar also demanded Bautista’s management to confirm in writing that the comedienne will comply.
The group warned that if Bautista does not comply with the “demands to cease, desist, and refrain from using the name” of Maurer, it would have “no other alternative but to pursue formal charges and claims” against her.
“We highly recommend that you govern and advise your contracted talent to act accordingly and responsibly,” Kwaonhar told Artists Gallery Management.
ABS-CBN News sought Artists Gallery Management and Bautista for comment on Tuesday, but neither has responded to the request, as of writing.
Bautista has made no direct mention of the legal threat on her social media pages.
Her latest updates starting Tuesday — when her management would have already received the letter — were photos of her enjoying the beach.
“Hoooh ang hirap pag sobrang gandaaaa,” she wrote, with laughing emojis. “ISMAYL nalang si Tyang sa mga taong ayaw tumigil”
She captioned another photo of her in a swimsuit: “BRB. Too busy loving myself. Too busy being grateful.”