Ex-Boyfriend Sues David LaChapelle for $75 Million
Famed celebrity photographer David LaChapelle is being sued by his former agent, and boyfriend, for $75 million, the New York Daily News reports.
The photographer, who has taken pictures of several high-profiled celebrities, including Bjork, Lance Armstrong and Hilary Clinton, is accused of failing to pay Fred Torres, his former business agent, nearly $25 million in expenses for processing his photographs and selling them across the globe. Torres also claims that LaChapelle, who worked under Andy Warhol, was conspiring with his exclusive sales agents in order to steal a client list and other secret information from Torres' firm, Fine Art Account Inc.
Torres also says LaChapelle's team sent spies to his business last year to take the client list, which Torres claims is worth at least $40 million.
"They worked behind the scenes to take over Fred's business," Torres' lawyer, David Schrader, told the Daily News on Thursday.
This isn't the first time the men have battled it out in court. Just three months ago, the photographer sued Torres in federal court and claimed he failed to pay him $28 million for photos he sold. Deborah Drooz, LaChapelle's lawyer, said that Torres' lawsuit is "retaliation of the basest kind."
"Torres' own spreadsheets show that he owes David a great deal of money," she said.
Court papers say that the men have been dating since 1993 and that the relationship became more and more professional over time.
Torres also claims that he has 1,277 of LaChapelle's prints in storage because the photographer has not paid him $5 million in expenses. Additionally, he says LaChapelle owes him another $300,000 for the photographer's personal expenses.