GMA Network on The Sarah Lahbati Issue [UPDATED]

UPDATED: seems that the Sarah Lahbati contract issue continues as GMA Network releases a new statement about the issue. Sarah Lahbati today has released her statement from her tweets in twitter and can be seen the compiled version below the GMA Network statement.

Sarah Lahbati clearly violated her contract with GMA Network

Sarah Lahbati’s Artist Management Contract with GMA Network is effective until February 21, 2015.  There is no provision for leave of absence in said contract.  Any leave is subject to prior agreement between the Network and Sarah.  Therefore, Sarah’s unilateral decision to go on leave, despite its earlier disapproval by the Network, is a violation of her contract with the Network.  Further, her declared trip to Switzerland for an indefinite period, without the prior consent and approval of the Network, will be an additional violation of her contract.

Sarah, who is exclusively managed by the Network, earlier signed a co-management contract with Royal Era Entertainment & Artist Management, the talent management company of Annabelle Rama, the mother of Sarah’s current boyfriend, Richard Gutierrez.  Such act violated the terms of her contract with the Network.  The Network would have had no choice but to sue Sarah and Royal Era Entertainment for the said breach if they refused to rescind said co-management contract.



Coincidentally, it was after the Network required her to cancel her co-management contract with Annabelle’s Royal Era Entertainment that Sarah unilaterally declared her going on a one-month leave of absence.  This was rejected by the Network due to the vague and unsubstantiated reasons she gave which were to de-stress and unwind.

Despite the rejection of her leave, she ceased to honor her commitments with the Network including her being part of the Network’s Sunday variety show Party Pilipinas.  Under the provisions of her contract with the Network, specifically Paragraphs 1.3 and 1.4, it is clearly stated that the “artist shall perform the role and appear in the television programs, projects and events assigned to her, and conscientiously fulfill faithfully and promptly any and all engagements/booking contracted to her by GMA”.

The reported incident of her walk-out during a taping of the Network’s new show, Indio, on the other hand, is still being investigated.  The Network welcomes her denial since it will expedite the investigation and the actions that will be taken by the Network.  The said incident caused the production team to pack-up and incur substantial, additional and unnecessary costs. 

In her tweets, Sarah stated that she left the taping of Indio to appear in her scheduled guesting on November 10 in Eat Bulaga, the top-rating noontime show of GMA.  However, Sarah did not take part in the November 10 episode of Eat Bulaga.  It was on November 24 – two weeks after the walk-out incident – when she finally appeared on the show.

Sarah also mentioned in her tweets her supposed referral by some of the Network executives to ICONS Management.  The Network has not authorized any such referral.  The concrete actions already made by the Network on this matter prove that the Network promptly attends to and acts on complaints or information brought to its attention.

The Network considers this incident with Sarah very unfortunate especially because the Network has greatly invested in Sarah, who is one of the priority stars of the Network.

Sarah is a home-grown exclusive talent of GMA Network.  She was discovered through the Network’s reality search, Startstruck, and since then has been given numerous projects including Time Of My Life, Kokak, Makapiling Kang Muli, etc.  She is also part of GMA’s upcoming primetime show, Indio, and stars in GMA Films’ Basement.  The Network’s Talent Development and Management Department has likewise arranged major endorsements for Sarah. 

On the other hand, in her twitter account Sarah Lahbati explains her side (this is a compiled statement from her twitter @sarahlahbati

I saw the episode of Hot tv yesterday and I cried while watching how Gma made a one sided story about what's happening... It was clear to sabotage me and to make them look clean. I was never asked or contacted by Hot TV about my side of the story. I never wanted to do this..it's not my character to tweet all of this, but people need to know the truth, pinalaki ako ng parents ko ng mabuti, hindi para apihin ng ganito, and to always stand by what's true. So here's the complete truth...ICONS is a talent management company that has nothing to do with Gma Network, it's not a subsidiary company of Gma Artist Center...there had been rumors for a long time that they work under the table for Gma artist center.Attorney Felipe Gozon our big boss, who I only have good words for, wanted to get to the bottom of this mess but didn't have proper evidence It became almost like a myth in the network. One day my mother & I was asked by Mrs. Annette Gozon Abrogar & Arsi Baltazar(artist center..head executives) to have a meeting with them regarding my career. When I arrived at our meeting place in Fridays Tomas Morato...I was shocked because they were convincing me to sign a contract w/ ICONS talent management that is headed by Mr. Bebong Munoz & Andrew Dee. They promised me projects and endorsements, I don't know why two top executives of the Artist Center wanted me to sign with another...management company and get another 15% from my salary. After giving us a copy of the contract, my mother and I said that we will think about the offer & we will also discuss it with my dad. My family declined the offer because we didn't know Bebong Munoz & Andrew Dee, plus the...deduction of 40 percent was too steep. 

Mrs. Anette Gozon Abrogar and Arsi Baltazar told me that a lot of artists from Gma Artist Center...already signed with the ICONS company and they will be prioritized so I should do the same. This is the reason why I signed a contract w/ Royal Artist (tita Annabelle Rama) dahil alam ko na Pwede mag pa co-manage w/ a different...company ang artists ng GMA. Because of double bookings & a messed up schedule & other unsolved issues, I needed proper management...& protection w/ my career, that's why I asked for tita Annabelle's help. After a few days I was asked by Gma to void my contract with...Tita Annabelle or else they will file a lawsuit against me. So why is it that ICONS management can co-manage artists? Why are they protected by Mrs. Annette Gozon Abrogar and Arsi Baltazar even if they get 40percent from artists salary? 

Yung walk out issue ko & diffrent blind items ginawa lang nila para mawala ang focus sa mas malaking problema, ang under the table..deals ng ICONS with Gma Artist Center. I was offered by the daughter of the Network owner to join a company that does under the table deals in Gma and subtract 40 percent from my salary. THERE IS UNFAIR TREATMENT WITH NON ICONS ARTIST LIKE ME. If Gma is releasing all this bad publicity about me and saying that I have bad behavior then why don't they release me and void my contract? I ask Gma Artist Center now to void my contract with them because I will not have a peaceful and progressive working environment anymore. They have a messed up system and I hope all the underground deals will be cleaned soon.


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