GMA-7 responds to Aljur Abrenica's lawsuit
MANILA - GMA Network referred to the lawsuit of talent Aljur Abrenica as "very unfortunate," noting in a statement on Tuesday that it "greatly invested" in the actor since he joined showbiz in 2007.
According to GMA-7, it received its copy of the complaint on Monday, four days after Abrenica filed it before the Quezon City Hall of Justice.
Abrenica is seeking the rescisssion of his contract with the network.
Abrenica, according to his formal complaint, is an "exclusive talent" of GMA-7 until March 2015. His contract is renewable for another three years, upon the network's exclusive option.
"Our lawyers will review this and answer accordingly in court," GMA-7 said in its statement published on its news website.
"The network considers this incident very unfortunate because GMA has greatly invested on Aljur, who is one of its prime artists," it added.
GMA-7 enumerated some of the major projects it has given Abrenica since he signed with the network, noting that it "has arranged major endorsements and corporate partnerships for [the actor]."
Abrenica entered show business in 2007, when he was named the male champion of the fourth season of the GMA-7 reality talent search "StarStruck."
After his win, Abrenica was cast in lead roles in several GMA-7 drama series, including "Zaido: Pulis Pangkalawakan" in 2007, "The Last Prince" in 2010, and "Pablo S. Gomez's Machete" in 2011.
He was last seen in "Kambal Sirena," which concluded last June and which also marked his ninth leading-man role in a GMA-produced TV series.
GMA-7 said its talent management arm "has not been remiss in its duties as [Abrenica's] manager, practicing a consultative style of management with him."
"With his best interest in mind, this practice has accorded him every opportunity to personally assess all offers to reach a mutual agreement," it added.
Responding to Abrenica's claims that less experienced actors were given priority over him, GMA-7 said it "has equally given him projects, some of which were lead roles in the network’s primetime programs."
Abrenica is demanding P1 million in moral damages over his "besmirched reputation, sleepless night and serious anxiety," after the network allegedly required him to work for long hours despite feeling ill, and therefore, affecting his performance as an actor.
The complaint, signed by Abrenica's legal counsel, Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, is also calling for P100,000 in exemplary damages, and an additional P800,000 in attorneys' and other legal fees.
Aside from the alleged exhaustion he suffered due to the demands of his job, Abrenica, in his interview, raised GMA-7's supposed "lack of respect" for the direction he wants to take as an actor.
Abrenica's formal complaint detailed instances when the projects given to him "reinforced his image as a sexy actor, and [undermined] his abilities as a serious performer."
It raised several other "examples" showing how GMA-7 supposedly mismanaged Abrenica's career, including a time when the actor was allegedly banned from SM malls and the loss of his contract as a potential endorser of Bench Body.