Sammy Davis Jr. Biopic Stalled In Legal Wrangling
Plans to film a movie about the life of Sammy Davis Jr. have hit a legal roadblock in Dallas, the Dallas Morning News reported today (Monday), citing a lawsuit filed in federal court in Dallas by Davis's widow Altovise against two former business partners. Joining her in the lawsuit are Judy and Burt Boyar, who co-wrote Davis's autobiographies, Yes, I Can and Why Me? They claim that the former partners, California couple Barrett LaRoda and Anthony Francis, enticed Mrs. Davis to sign away rights to her husband's estate to a company they created called Sammy Davis Jr. Enterprises and that they have mismanaged the company ever since. Mrs. Davis claims that the pair demanded executive producer credits in connection with the film bio and then scuppered negotiations with the studio when the talks were near completion. In an interview with the Morning News, Dallas attorney Mike Lynn, who represents Mrs. Davis, said that she is "devastated that the defendants have decided to hold this movie hostage for their own selfish interests. Her hope is that the claims in this lawsuit can be quickly resolved, which will clear the way for the movie to go forward."