LOS ANGELES -- Grammy and Oscar-winning singer Irene Cara filed a $10 million suit against a record company executive, claiming he exploited her trust in him by inducing her to sign contracts that cost her more than $2 million.
The Superior Court suit, filed Monday by attorney Louis Miller, said Al Coury got Cara to agree to contracts with record companies including Elektra, Polygram, Geffen and Warner Bros. and Paramount Pictures and Universal Pictures that cost her more than $2 million in profits.
The suit said Cara agreed in May 1980, when she was 21, to record exclusively for six years for RSO Records Inc., of which Coury was then president.
He assumed responsibility for her musical career, the suit said, and eventually won control of her recording career. The suit claims Coury took advantage of Cara's trust in him to get her to sign agreements that were 'patently one-sided, unfair, unjust and oppressive.'
She claime he paid her 'only minimal' royalties and is wrongfully withholding millions of dollars.
In early 1981, he told her he was leaving RSO to begin his own recording company, Al Coury Inc., and induced her to sign exclusively with him, the suit said. Their contract gave him and Cara equal interest in the profits from her songs. His firm is now called Network Records Inc.
Cara won two Grammys in 1983 for 'Flashdance ... What a Feeling.'
She played a major role in the hit movie 'Fame,' and won an Oscar in 1981 for the best original song for the movie's title song. She also wrote and sang the theme from the movie 'Flashdance,' which won the 1984 Oscar for best original song.
Agreements between Coury and Paramount in 1983 for Cara's appearance in 'Flashdance' and with Universal the same year for her role in 'D.C. Cab' were designed to benefit Coury and did not give Cara her fair share of profits, the suit said. It cited no exact loss figures.