Ex-Manager Suffers Setback In Tyler Case

Steven Tyler’s lawyer scored some points in her legal battle relating to the Aerosmith frontman’s contract negotiations as a judge on “American Idol” – but it’s not over yet.

Photo: John Davisson
Tampa Bay Times Forum, Tampa, Fla.

A Los Angeles judge granted Dina LaPolt’s anti-SLAPP motion Feb. 1 on three claims against her regarding Tyler,  dismissing the bulk of the singer’s former management company’s $8 million suit.

Kovac Media Group / Tenth Street Entertainment sued LaPolt in October claiming she was playing both sides in negotiations with “American Idol” and had “sold out her own client” in the middle of talks aimed at scoring Tyler a raise worth $6 million to $8 million on his contract at the time. 

Among Kovac’s claims were that LaPolt went behind the management company’s back to undermine negotiations hoping to “curry favor with ‘American Idol’ to refer her other artists and talent.”  Tyler has since left the show and went on tour with Aerosmith.

LaPolt countered that Eric Sherman, not Allen Kovac, was Tyler’s manager at the time of negotiations and that LaPolt had a protected free-speech right to advise Tyler adverse to Tenth Streeth Entertainment in any event.

Tyler himself spoke out in December, calling it an “outrage and a travesty” that LaPolt had been sued regarding Tyler’s  management relationship with Kovac, whose services Tyler said he was “very unhappy with.”  He added that Kovac was“disrespectful and rude to my business associates, insulted and verbally abused my fiancée, my lawyer, my family, my assistants, and my accountants. I wanted very much to end the relationship.” Tyler says he only remained with the company because he was told Sherman would be his manager rather than Kovac.

“SLAPP” refers to a “strategic lawsuit against public participation,” which means the claim is intended to censor, intimidate and silence critics by burdening them with court costs. Superior Court Judge Joeseph Kalin ruled that the defense’s invoking of anti-SLAPP statutes as well as First Amendment rights protected LaPolt from three of the claims. Most of Kovac’s $8 million case was dismissed on those grounds.

The court also ruled in LaPolt’s favor on two additional claims relating to Mötley Crüe, declaring that Kovac failed to demonstrate any breach or damages by LaPolt of her duties to the band.   LaPolt also represents the Crüe and advised them to retain another attorney while she and Tyler slugged it out with Kovac/TSE.

However, Kalin allowed a portion of the Tyler case to go forward, according to Deadline Hollywood, as Kovac says the company is owed money from Tyler’s touring revenue with Aerosmith.