This one has been going on for a while. Here’s an update from today’s Publisher’s Marketplace (defendant doesn’t have the cash?) (and you’ll have to read more deeply into this story to learn why an Australian publishing company lawsuit was filed in Texas, of the United States–you knew that, right?):
Former co-founder of The Writers Coffee Shop Jennifer Pedroza is moving closer to receiving her one-quarter share of The Writers Coffee Shop’s profits from the Fifty Shades trilogy, though the process has been underway for many months and still is not finalized. In a Texas court hearing on Wednesday, Judge Susan McCoy heard from accountants hired by both Pedroza and defendant Amanda Hayward that 25 percent of TWCS’s profits would equal approximately $10.7 million.
A jury ruled in Pedroza’s favor in February, and starting in April, Judge McCoy has been trying to get Hayward to deposit $10 million in an escrow account, in advance of a final payment order. In yesterday’s hearing, the judge set a firm date of September 25 for Hayward to deposit at least $10 million in cash and/or other assets into a court-controlled account. Hayward attorney David Keltner says his client does not have the cash (apparently she spent a lot), but the court seems likely to go after Hayward’s home outside of Sydney, Australia if necessary.
Judge McCoy said she has “still not signed the [final] order. I’ve not crystallized what the money should be comprised of,” nor has she finalized the award. The attorneys have been provided more time to try to negotiate a final award amount, including attorney’s fees and interest — and, presumably, a plan for payment. Keltner told the court they have “fundamental differences on what the law is” and “barring any settlement, would look at those issues on appeal.”
UPDATE 9/19/2016: And she is going to collect:
Jennifer Pedroza will finally collect from her former Writers’ Coffee Shop partner Amanda Hayward, in a confidential settlement. Hayward is dropping her appeal of the Texas District Court judgment that gave Pedroza a $10.6 million award, along with $900,000 in interest and $1.7 million in attorney’s fees. The final payment does include at least $1.6 million from Random House that was being held by the court. Hayward had been ordered to put $10 million in escrow in 2015 though it was never clear whether she had the cash to fulfill the court’s order. Royalties from Random House were to be channeled to the escrow account to help fulfill that order.