Legit Lawsuit, PR Stunt, or Something Else?

Taylor_Lautner_leanLast week we saw several references to Taylor Lautner and his management team suing a California RV company because they failed to deliver a decked out RV on time to the Pennsylvania location where Taylor would be filming Abduction. The info came out across the AP wire service and other places.

We didn’t bother covering it because it didn’t seem that newsworthy, it wasn’t like it was a contract dispute over a Twilight salary or anything. It seemed like a pretty cut and dry “failure to provide services” contract dispute filled with lots of legalese and of course the inevitable “emotional distress” clause that generally accompanies any suit of this nature. Now because it was a slow news week, lots of outlets made a big deal out of the “emotional distress” clause and what was Taylor mental state, was he a diva, etc.

What started to bother us was how did this get on the AP wire to begin with? Actors get into lawsuits like this all the time, and they never make the news or it’s a footnote at best. It’s not like Taylor walked off with expensive clothes or jewelry. It was about an RV that was ordered and didn’t show up. The only time a dispute like this really hits is if someone tips off the media. It didn’t seem like Taylor’s camp would do that because it’s not really their style. It was an RV not the non delivery of a promised role or major endorsement. No one was physically hurt. What would they have to gain by bringing attention to a dispute over the non-delivery of an RV?

Cue round two, the owner of the RV company decides that he and Taylor should have a push up contest to settle the dispute and puts out press to that effect. This just didn’t sit right with us. I mean if I were the owner of the RV company and I thought I actually delivered to specs the item (possibly late), I might have in good faith knocked some money off and tried to settle this whole thing out of the limelight, but a push-up contest? It just wasn’t adding up. If I felt Taylor Lautner had wronged me and my reputation, I’d be singing the “diva, spoiled actor” routine until the cows came home. I’d be touring film crews through the decked out RV saying “this is what the diva turned down.” But a push up contest?

Well it looks like the team at The Hollywood Reporter legal division was thinking that this whole thing was pretty fishy too, and they did some digging. Here’s what they discovered when they went to Taylor Lautner’s legal team

“We have tried to take the high road by not commenting on this matter but we want to set the record straight.  McMahon’s RV’s response to our client’s legitimate claim further demonstrates the lack of professionalism that Mr. McMahon, his company and his employees have exhibited from the outset, and that compelled the filing of this lawsuit in the first place.  This suit is not about a “customized” RV, it is about McMahon’s RV’s refusal to deliver the vehicle in the safe, drivable condition that was promised, as every purchaser has the right to expect.  A cursory review of McMahon’s RV’s record with the Better Business Bureau shows that this is a repeated pattern of conduct; Mr. Lautner just happens to be a high profile customer that is holding them accountable.  Indeed, Mr. McMahon, through his attorney, has already apologized to the Lautners for his and his company’s conduct.  While we will not dignify Mr. McMahon’s facetious suggestion of a contest to settle a legal claim with a response, we do welcome the opportunity for him to resolve this matter by making a $40,000 donation to the charity of Mr. Lautner’s choice, and we will be in touch with his counsel to see if he will make good on this offer.”

The Hollywood Reporter also has an excellent blow-by-blow description of this whole thing from the get-go, if you want the nitty gritty details.

So, what do you think about this whole mess?

Comments

  1. I think they should leave this kind of thing out of the news. There are more important things going on, and that sort of thing is private business between two people. As you stated if it was anyone else it wouldn’t have made the news junket, but there it is.

    What I find honorable about this site is that you guys won’t put anything out unless you have the facts straight or unless things start getting out of hand and need clarifying.

    Hopefully they will resolve things and I think that Taylor has a lot of class wanting the money to go to his favorite charity.

    Oh well that’s my two cents worth for the morning.

    • Unfortunately, “tabloid journalists” look for ANY little thing to put in their “news stories.” It sells issues/advertising space/whatever. And that’s all they care about. They fluff up otherwise banal and boring stories to make them sound more salacious for the exact same reason: to sell more copies. And as long as there is a public out there willing to pay for such things, the media will continue to supply it.

  2. I thought the same thing when I first read about this why is this so publicized. Nothing like this RV company trying to get some publicity, but isn’t this the wrong kind of attention, I mean they are being sued for not completing their contract?

  3. I was kind of taken back because I love Taylor and really hoped he wasn’t turning spoiled this early on in his career, and it looks like the RV company is trying to get PR for themselves since they know as well as the rest of us that for as many people who LOVE Twilight, there are just as many who hate it and would think the whole push up contest is funny (which some of my friends who know I’m Team Taylor were definitely laughing about). But when I read about the charity I reconsidered how much of a spin the media put on this.

    In a month this will be old news and hopefully Taylor will have learned just a bit more about the business he’s in and how to handle people like this guy.

  4. There’s no reason why this should be news.

  5. I think the response from Taylor’s legal counsel says it all. I think it’s pretty ridiculous to suggest a push up contest to settle a legal dispute, and hopefully they can get this resolved amicably. I’m sure they didn’t really want it to be news either. Hopefully they can get it worked out.

  6. Sheesh Lautner is greedy, and RV guy is seedy. Which is worst.

    • His dad ordered a refurbished RV from 2006 (common living quarters for actors while on shoots)and then it wasn’t delivered. He then requested compensation for said RV. (as anyone who has been ripped off would) But he’s willing to not keep it and take the RV owner up on his offer to give it to charity instead. How is that greedy?? The RV owner didn’t deliver, then when asked to give the Lautners what he owed, he challenged Taylor to a pushup contest instead. It’s a stupid childish PR stunt.

    • How is that greedy? RV’s go for thousands of dollars. I would do the same and I am sure you would have too trying to get your money back. It’s the principle of the thing; not to have people rip you off. Or would you have just walked away with them having your $40,000?

  7. I love that Taylor’s camp is calling the RV guy out on his charity offer….I think that it shows that Taylor wasn’t after this guy for the money, just to hold him accountable for his poor service. Now that camp Taylor has publicly acknowledged the charity component, RV man is going to look like an epic chump if he doesn’t follow through!

  8. shoot they should pay up also for the bad PR they caused for Taylor

  9. I don’t know. Maybe “Twilight News” can answer my question.

    I went to the link regarding this story and in one of the comments someone posted, they brought up TL’s dad. The commenter made it sound like it was Taylor’s dad’s idea to sue the company. What does his dad have to do with it, and what was the deal with the chipped paint?

    IMO, it seems like the RV company messed up and they are trying to cover their rear end. In the article it reads that the Better Business Bureau states “shows that this is a repeated pattern of conduct.” It is all a PR stunt for the RV company.

  10. Um Nina did you even read the story??? Lautner is willing for the money to go to a charity. Hello???

  11. Noah Brighten says:

    The reality is folks, even IF the Lautners requested to be refunded and reinbursed for the cost of lost time…ect…ect..ect because the RV company did not complete their part of the bargain, Taylor and his fam have every right to do so. It doesn’t matter if he is rich or not, businesses have a responsibility to their clientelle. If they can’t meet their agreements then the customer should be refunded. If would be no different than you purchasing a cell phone from a said cell phone company and then find out that they don’t offer their service in your area. If the said company is not able to get service for you in the said area of usage, then most (if they are reasonable) will let you out of your contract, because they can’t provide service.

    In the end, actors, singers, writers, ect ect… may make a lot more money than regular folks, but that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t matter to them if they get ripped off or not. They are human beings and should be treated with the same respect as anybody else.

    • Well said, Noah. Yes, actors like Taylor make a lot of money. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t call people out when they get ripped off. As a consumer purchasing a product, Taylor has the same rights all of us do-if you enter an agreement to purchase something and the business doesn’t follow up on their end of the deal, they need to be held accountable. And by accountable that doesn’t mean winning a push-up contest. If the same thing happened to someone who wasn’t famous, this probably wouldn’t even be a discussion. This RV place knows what they’re doing-look at all the press they’re getting from this!

  12. SavyTwilighter says:

    I thought this story was also fishy from the get go because of the whole “diva” thing. If you are a fan in any way of the Twilight series you know that Taylor is not like that at all. He’s like the sweetest, most moral 18 year old I’ve ever heard about.
    The whole “emotional distress” clause they put into lawsuits is all lawyer talk. I highly doubt that Taylor was completely distraught just because his trailer wasn’t delivered. Especially since on the 21st of June he was still on the Eclipse press junket and had 3 weeks before he was shooting Abduction. Yes a little inconvenient, but surely not the end of the world and obviously he has gotten by without that specific trailer. So again I just don’t see Taylor throwing a “diva worthy” fit over something like this. Good for him that he’s holding the company accountable too! Go Taylor^-^

    • I completely agree with you 100%! Taylor is actually the most ambitious, caring, sweetest guy I have ever met in the entertainment industry =) I could never ever see Taylor throwing a fit over an RV Trailer being delivered late.
      I’m sure the press just used the words ‘emotional distress’ to try and ruin his image, just like the RV Dealer is… makes me so angry!
      Ever since he was a child, Taylor has always always been incredibly polite, modest and very mature about everything. He’s not the kinda guy to handle an incident like a ‘diva’ as the editors are saying…
      Hope this incident is solved quickly and efficiently and that Taylor remains his incredibly , squeaky-clean image ^.^ I love him so much <3
      Team Taylor forever!! =)

  13. The RV dealer is an idiot -just trying to cash in on the Twilight success.

    • Noah Brighten says:

      I dunno… do you honestly believe that this guy would like to be known as the “Guy who ripped of Jacob Black”? :P

      • I think this McMahon guy is a totally disreputable businessman who doesn’t think about the possible consequences of his actions and he somehow thought he could play a game of smoke and mirrors by suggesting this stupid publicity stunt to distract ppl from the real issue, which is that he didn’t fulfil his part of the bargain to deliver the RV as he had contracted with Mr. Lautner. And, remember, too, McMahon is the one who leaked the story to the press, not Mr. Lautner of Taylor or Taylor’s lawyers. I’m sure Taylor and his father would very much have preferred it be kept as a private matter as it should have been.

  14. I have been watching this story develop on several different websites and I just wanted to thank you for getting the story right. It is amazing the different “perspectives” that are being drawn totally based on the tone of the author writing the story. At times Taylor is being completely thrown under the bus, and it just makes me sad for him.

  15. Good thing it wasn’t Kristen that ordered the RV for her filming…she would be crucified.

  16. *yawn* boring.

  17. Greed on the part of “Mr. McMahon” pure & simple. He’s looking to generate foot-traffic to his business. I hope this “bad rating from the BBB” gets as much coverage as his ignorant offer and it backfires on him. What an idiot.

Leave a Comment

*