MANILA (UPDATED) — Viva Artists Agency (VAA) on Friday filed a lawsuit against actress Nadine Lustre, whom it said remained its exclusive artist until 2029, over her alleged “continuous violation” of her contract.
The talent management firm of the larger Viva Entertainment group filed the complaint before the Quezon City Regional Trial Court.
VAA alleged that Lustre violated her “valid and existing agency and management agreement ... by contracting independently with advertisers, promoters, and other third parties, in utter disregard of the exclusivity of her contract.”
The case, according to VAA, seeks to stop Lustre from “continuously violating” their agreement, and for the actress to “honor” her contract with them.
Lustre entered a 5-year, exclusive contract with VAA in 2009, the group said. That contract was renewed in 2014 for another 10 years, or until June 30, 2024. The same contract was then renewed for another 5 years in 2015, moving its end date to June 29, 2029, according to VAA.
“During this period VAA developed, built, and nurtured Nadine’s career to make her one of the most sought after artists in the entertainment industry,” the agency said.
VAA pointed out that Lustre’s “career took off” when it cast her in the 2014 blockbuster “Diary ng Panget” opposite James Reid, launching the wildly popular “JaDine” tandem. The reel and real partnership went on to star in the hit ABS-CBN drama “On the Wings of Love,” among other successful projects, VAA recalled.
Under Viva’s record label, Lustre also released a number of singles as a solo artist, aside from her stint as a member of Pop Girls dating back to 2009.
Lustre’s successful foray into acting and music earned her the “Multimedia Princess” title, as she was dubbed by Viva. As recently as 2019, her big-screen projects under Viva earned her successive best actress wins, cementing her status as an acclaimed performer.
“Despite her continued success as an exclusive artist of VAA for almost a decade, Nadine still chose to violate and disregard her contract with VAA,” the group said.
VAA’s legal counsel, Atty. Chino Roxas, called on Lustre to “honor and respect the sanctity of contracts.”
He added: “Third parties are put on notice that any direct dealings with Ms. Lustre for her services as a performing artist or endorser shall be in violation of Ms. Lustre’s contract with VAA.”
LUSTRE’S CAMP: VIVA CONTRACT ‘OPRESSIVE’
VAA’s filing of its lawsuit against Lustre came nearly a year after it first warned of legal action against the actress in January, when she announced having “terminated” her contract with the agency and that she was now “self-managed.”
At the time, Lustre’s camp said it welcomed “any legal action by Viva so their unconscionable, oppressive and illegal contract with Nadine (and their other artists) can be litigated in the proper forum.”
“It’s about time that a David strikes out a Goliath that has taken advantage of young artists in the industry for the longest time,” Lustre’s legal counsel, Atty. Lorna Kapunan, said in January.
Viva Entertainment, of which VAA is part, is an industry pillar that has for decades produced films (Viva Films) and concerts (Viva Live), among other showbiz ventures.
Its famous discoveries or current contract talents include the likes of Sarah Geronimo, Anne Curtis, Bela Padilla, Cristine Reyes, Yam Concepcion, Xian Lim, and Matteo Guidicelli.
VAA was also home to actor Reid, Lustre’s former boyfriend who had left the agency in late 2019.
Since her proclaimed departure from VAA in January, Lustre has released a full album under Reid’s record label, and has clinched numerous endorsement deals with ads on social media and television. — with a report from MJ Felipe, ABS-CBN News