WME Site Dispute?

Two Los Angeles-area publications are reporting that William Morris Endeavor Entertainment co-CEO Ari Emanuel is trying to get out of the lease for the company’s new headquarters under construction in Beverly Hills, prompting a legal battle with the building owner.

Both The Wrap and the Beverly Hills Courier cite unnamed parties confirming Emanuel is unhappy with the deal, a holdover from then-William Morris CEO Jim Wiatt, who signed a 20-year lease for the building about a year before the merger with Endeavor.

Emanuel is also reportedly unhappy that Gersh (formerly The Gersh Agency) moved its headquarters next door to the new WME building in July, leaving both agencies to share parking and valet service.

He says the parking situation is a breach of exclusivity and violation of WME’s lease with building owner George Comfort & Sons, which also owns the building Gersh moved to, according to the Courier.

Not so, according to George Comfort & Sons lawyer Michael Federman.

Federman told the Wrap in a statement the agreement is solid.

“Under no scenario does WME have the right to walk away from this deal,” Federman said. “There is no ‘loophole’ or other excuse that WME can use to circumvent the legal agreements made by Jim Wiatt and others.”

Federman added that he’d filed legal proceedings against WME several weeks ago but the proceedings are reportedly confidential.

WME reps met with L.A. city officials Sept. 30 to discuss the situation but nothing was resolved, the Courier said.

WME spokesman Christian Muirhead told Pollstar the company has no comment on the allegations.