Chappelle's Former Manager: "I'm Rich, Bitch," Says Dave Owes $864,500
According to court documents, Mustafa Abuelhja helped Chappelle earn deals that generated over $10 million during the 10 months he served as his manager.
Abuelhja's complaint states that, upon returning from his sudden spiritual retreat in South Africa this past June, Chappelle terminated him and left him with a "paltry $40,000 as an 'advance' against the sum" he claimed was owed.
The court documents show that Abuelhja started working with Chappelle back in 2001. He first performed various tasks and slowly climbed the ladder until he became the comedian's manager in September 2004. The papers also reveal that the "deal was never reduced to writing."
Abuelhja is requesting a percentage of the profits from Chappelle's reported $50 million Comedy Central deal and money earned from personal appearances, a forthcoming DVD and the long-awaited Dave Chappelle's Block Party.
Abuelhja claims that Comedy Central gave Chappelle a $4.5 million "nonrefundable up-front payment" when he inked his deal to carry Chappelle's Show through 2006. Additionally, Chappelle reportedly earned $275,000 per episode and $25,000 per repeat.
Furthermore, he says Chappelle's contract guaranteed him 50% of the royalties from sales of the show's DVDs and merchandise sold from the show's first season. Abuelhja wants 10% of all profit for helping Chappelle cut the deals.
Chappelle had no comment on the suit. Word is he will keep getting paid by Comedy Central because the network is set to air episodes taped prior to Chappelle's retreat. The third season's four episodes are slated to air in the second quarter of 2006.