by Austin Siegemund-Broka
The country singer is alleged to have cut a production company out of his work with director James Keach
Glen Campbell battled Alzheimer's Disease throughout the tour filmed in the upcoming documentary Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me. Now he's facing a legal battle over its production and his relationship with director-producer James Keach.
The Record Company is a production house claiming the film violates an agreement it made in June 2011 to develop a project about the country music icon with him and Keach, whose credits include producing the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line. In a complaint filed against Campbell on Monday, the studio alleges it was “excluded from participating in the documentary in every way” despite its “exclusive” agreement with Campbell.
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The point of contention is Keach's involvement. A copy of the 2011 agreement attached to the Record Company's filing specifies that the studio had the exclusive right to develop a “project involving producer/director James Keach, featuring and/or based on” Campbell. Further, even beyond the term of the deal, “if there is any later development of the project or other media venture involving James Keach in any way, then our rights to participate in the project or other such venture are revived.”
It's entitled to that exclusivity because “the tying of James Keach to the project is ours,” the agreement reads. The complaint reiterates that the Record Company was “the exclusive contact” to Keach and solely responsible for connecting him with Campbell.
But during the nine-month term of the agreement, the “Rhinestone Cowboy” singer's Glen Campbell Goodbye Tour started, and so did the development of I'll Be Me by Keach, Keach's PCH Films and the singer's Glen Campbell Enterprises. The film documents the tour, which lasted a year and a half and included appearances by Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney and Taylor Swift, and will be released Oct. 24.
The Record Company is suing Campbell and Glen Campbell Enterprises for breach of contract, claiming Campbell is excluding it from any credit, ownership and revenue for the documentary. The company is also claiming breach of fiduciary duty and demanding an accounting of Campbell's earnings from the film.
The company is represented by attorneys Douglas Johnson and Neville Johnson.
Campbell, who has won five Grammys and a Lifetime Achievement Award, and is an inductee of the Country Music Hall of Fame, announced his diagnosis with early stage Alzheimer's in 2011. The 78-year-old singer was moved earlier this year into an assisted care facility as his health deteriorated. In addition to his own hits, including “Wichita Lineman” and “Galveston,” he was a session player for Phil Spector, the Beach Boys and other influential artists.
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