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First Ruling in Ex-Employee’s Lawsuit Goes Against Garth Brooks

Garth Brooks
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

A former employee is suing Garth Brooks for over $400,000, and a judge’s decision as to where the case will be heard went against the singer.

Lisa Sanderson is suing Brooks for $425,000 in unpaid bonuses and salary, as well as punitive damages.

Lawsuit documents filed by Sanderson on April 15 show her argument that she was not properly compensated during and after her time as Chief Executive Officer at Red Strokes Entertainment, Brooks’ television and movie production company. The filing cites the numerous times that Sanderson aligned Red Strokes with a major movie or production house, only to have Brooks turn it down. Examples are the singer’s alleged refusal to have only a minor role in ‘Saving Private Ryan’ and his alleged refusal to star against a tornado in the movie ‘Twister.’

Sanderson says she was entitled to 50 percent of all producer fees and, if Red Strokes was to close, a $250,000 bonus to compensate her for her dedication and loyalty. After the made-for-TV movie ‘Unanswered Prayers’ was completed in 2010, she says Brooks told her he was shutting down Red Strokes.

For a long time, the two shared an almost familial relationship. But the lawsuit begins with:

Country music legend Garth Brooks (“Brooks”) would like his adoring fans to believe that he is a humble and highly principled “everyman,” despite his phenomenal success in the music industry. In reality, however, Brooks is a paranoid, angry, deceitful and vindictive man who will turn against those closest to him on a dime.”

Radar Online reports that Brooks had tried to get the lawsuit moved to a federal court. Last month, a judge remanded it to the Los Angeles Superior Court.

Next: See Country Music's Biggest Feuds

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