Advertisement

Embattled McNall Sued in Back Rent Dispute : Hockey: Real estate company says King owner is responsible for $290,000 in missed payments.

TIMES STAFF WRITERS

The owner of the Century City building where Bruce McNall keeps his offices is suing the King owner, alleging that McNall is personally responsible for about $290,000 in back rent that was to be paid through a McNall-affiliated movie company.

Chicago real estate giant JMB Properties is alleging that Gladden Entertainment--in whose name the offices at 10100 Santa Monica Blvd. are leased--owed $169,954 in rent through February. McNall, who owns 10% of Gladden, maintains offices for his sports and other enterprises in the same sixth-floor suite described in the lawsuit filed in Superior Court in Los Angeles.

Charles Kenworthy, a lawyer who represents JMB, said that no further payments have been made since then. Court documents show that rent owed is accumulating at $60,500 a month, which would bring the current total owed to more than $290,000.

A McNall spokesman said: “We were surprised to hear this suit was still pending. Although we knew of its existence several weeks ago, we were told by a representative of JMB that it had been been dismissed. Bruce has neither been served a copy of this suit nor has he even seen it.”

Advertisement

Kenworthy said the lawsuit is still pending and the dispute remains unresolved.

The March lawsuit filed by JMB is one of several filed by creditors recently alleging McNall has failed to make various payments. Other suits have been filed by two banks and Hollywood studio Twentieth Century Fox.

JMB claims in the lawsuit that its total damages exceed $5 million, an amount calculated by adding future rent and other fees allegedly owed under the contract for the 22,864 square feet of office space. JMB says that McNall personally guaranteed in writing that the rent would be paid.

McNall has maintained that he has reduced his stake in Gladden from 50% to 10%, and is uninvolved in the movie production company’s operations. His longtime partner in the venture has been one-time studio chief David Begelman, who now works through a similarly named company called Gladden Productions.

Advertisement

Last week, Hollywood’s three major guilds went to U.S. Bankruptcy Court seeking to liquidate Gladden, alleging that actors, writers and directors are owed about $4.1 million in residuals. On Thursday, the guilds went to court seeking authority to question Begelman and review Gladden Entertainment documents.

Separately, there had been expectations that the sale of 65% of the Kings by McNall to telecommunications entrepreneur Jeffrey P. Sudikoff and associate Joseph Cohen would close by today. That apparently will not happen until next week and the sides “are still working on it,” according to a Sudikoff spokesperson.

Details of the $60-million transaction are nearing completion. This move will help McNall shed a loan with Bank of America, which had extended him $90 million in loans and credit.

Sudikoff and Cohen were interviewed last week by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman in Los Angeles, one of the final remaining steps toward closing the deal. The sale needs to be approved by 75% of the league’s Board of Governors.


Advertisement