GMA Network Official Statement: “Sarah Lahbati Clearly Violated Her Contract”


Kapuso network’s talent Sarah Lahbati clearly violated the contract binding her and the station according to the official statement of GMA Network.

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Sarah Lahbati’s Artist Management Contract with GMA Network is effective until February 21, 2015. There is no provision for leave of absence in said contract. Any leave is subject to prior agreement between the Network and Sarah. Therefore, Sarah’s unilateral decision to go on leave, despite its earlier disapproval by the Network, is a violation of her contract with the Network. Further, her declared trip to Switzerland for an indefinite period, without the prior consent and approval of the Network, will be an additional violation of her contract.

Sarah, who is exclusively managed by the Network, earlier signed a co-management contract with Royal Era Entertainment & Artist Management, the talent management company of Annabelle Rama, the mother of Sarah’s current boyfriend, Richard Gutierrez. Such act violated the terms of her contract with the Network. The Network would have had no choice but to sue Sarah and Royal Era Entertainment for the said breach if they refused to rescind said co-management contract.

Coincidentally, it was after the Network required her to cancel her co-management contract with Annabelle’s Royal Era Entertainment that Sarah unilaterally declared her going on a one-month leave of absence. This was rejected by the Network due to the vague and unsubstantiated reasons she gave which were to de-stress and unwind.

Despite the rejection of her leave, she ceased to honor her commitments with the Network including her being part of the Network’s Sunday variety show Party Pilipinas. Under the provisions of her contract with the Network, specifically Paragraphs 1.3 and 1.4, it is clearly stated that the “artist shall perform the role and appear in the television programs, projects and events assigned to her, and conscientiously fulfill faithfully and promptly any and all engagements/booking contracted to her by GMA”.

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The reported incident of her walk-out during a taping of the Network’s new show, Indio, on the other hand, is still being investigated. The Network welcomes her denial since it will expedite the investigation and the actions that will be taken by the Network. The said incident caused the production team to pack-up and incur substantial, additional and unnecessary costs.

In her tweets, Sarah stated that she left the taping of Indio to appear in her scheduled guesting on November 10 in Eat Bulaga, the top-rating noontime show of GMA. However, Sarah did not take part in the November 10 episode of Eat Bulaga. It was on November 24 – two weeks after the walk-out incident – when she finally appeared on the show.

Sarah also mentioned in her tweets her supposed referral by some of the Network executives to ICONS Management. The Network has not authorized any such referral. The concrete actions already made by the Network on this matter prove that the Network promptly attends to and acts on complaints or information brought to its attention.

The Network considers this incident with Sarah very unfortunate especially because the Network has greatly invested in Sarah, who is one of the priority stars of the Network.

Sarah is a home-grown exclusive talent of GMA Network. She was discovered through the Network’s reality search, Startstruck, and since then has been given numerous projects including Time Of My Life, Kokak, Makapiling Kang Muli, etc. She is also part of GMA’s upcoming primetime show, Indio, and stars in GMA Films’ Basement. The Network’s Talent Development and Management Department has likewise arranged major endorsements for Sarah.

For those who missed her tweets regarding this matter, you can read it below:

Here’s Sarah Lahbati’s answer to GMA Network’s First Official Statement on Violation of Contract

I just read the official statement of Gma against me. It’s stated there that they are still investigating if I should pay 500k because the taping got packed up “because of me”. I just want to make it clear that I NEVER WALKED OUT in any of my work even if they are making me work for more than 24hrs in my past show. This supposedly “walk out” incident happened during a taping of a fantasy show where I am required to show skin and wear a costume. My call time was at 5pm in Subic & I arrived at 4pm, I knew that we will be doing a lot of fight scenes that day and I wanted to be there early. When I arrived on set the producers asked me to change to my costume & do my makeup right away because it will be my turn to shoot soon,so I did prepare and changed to my costume. After I got ready I told the PA of the show that I’m ready anytime, that’s when they told me that my scene was moved and they will shoot me right after dinner, but after dinner they decided to shoot my scene at 4am. From 5pm to about 4am I waited and did my major fight scene that finished around 5am.

GMA Artist Center decided to book me for opening of EAT BULAGA the following day which required me to be in the studio at 8am to do hair, makeup and rehearse the production number. I never walked out, I told the producers and p.a that I need to go because I still had to travel back to Manila from Subic and be at Eat Bulaga studio by 8am. I tried asking help from my handler to fix the schedule but my handler was not answering at that time. I did not leave the set, I waited for the producers to say that I can leave I had permission to leave. This is the complete truth, for the people that are saying I walked out,I didn’t, and I’m sure if you were in my position you will also talk to the producers to say that you cannot continue. I don’t know why this issue got out of hand and why Gma is all of a sudden on the offensive. All the chaos started to happen when I declined to be part of ICONS management.

A top executive of the network once promised me stardom if I sign a contract with ICONS management, just because I didn’t sign this is what I get. I am not treated well and I haven’t been treated well. In layman’s term, “I’m treated like SH*T“. I deserve better, I worked hard and never complained, but there’s only so much I can take from all this bullying. I don’t owe GMA any money, in fact they still owe me. I finished filming a movie called Basement under GMA films, we started around August-early September. We would shoot the movie for about 16 hours or more, we’ve been done since mid November, until now I still haven’t been paid not even a down payment. My mother asked my handler many times regarding the payment and until now there is no reply. There are many more incidents that I am not saying. I hope this will end soon because I am tired and stressed out from all of this.

I feel like I am fighting a giant when all I’m doing is telling the truth. I know that there’s a lot people out there who doesn’t understand what I’m going through… People are saying na bakit ako nagrereklamo… baka lumaki na ang ulo ko at yumabang… Hindi po ako nag rereklamo, bakit naman ako magyayabang? Wala naman akong ipagyayabang. Hindi ako sikat. I know my status in this industry. I’m just a rookie who loves my craft. I have been accused and mistreated. I am forced to fight back and defend myself with the truth. I know that God sees all things.

This is getting out of hand. I will be quite & stay quiet. I’ve said my piece. At the end of the day, all I want is what’s best for me & GMA. Thank you to everyone who’s showing their love and support.

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