Sarah Lahbati VS GMA Network Fuels Up; Who’s at Fault, Who Tells the Truth?

The war between a star talent and her own network continues. Kapuso star Sarah Lahbati is on feud with the network that molded her into a bright star, the Kapuso network, GMA.

sarah lahbati vs gam network
The feud broke down into small pieces when Sarah opens up on her Twitter account @SarahLahbati about her plan to leave showbiz to pursue her studies on Switzerland. According to her, she had misunderstandings with the parties who are handling her career.

To all my friends and supporters, I’d like to thank you for the love and loyalty you’ve given me. I’ve been very blessed last year and I’m grateful to all of you but unfortunately you will be seeing less of me this year for reasons that are hard to explain through Twitter

I’ve had misunderstandings with the people who are handling my career. I am still thankful to them for the efforts they have shown in the past but now I feel neglected and my back is against the wall. Therefor I have to do something. Just to clarify this issue that’s been going around, I signed a contract with Royal Artist (Tita Annabelle Rama) as a co manager with GMA Artist Center because I needed someone to protect & help my well being in this cut throat industry.

Tita Annabelle only wants the best for me, with her years of experience and success in this industry I know that she’s the right person to help me. When my family made this decision ,we were already sure that an artist tied up with GMA Artist Center such as myself can be co-managed by another talent company because I was offered by top management of GMA to sign a contract with ICONS management just a few months before i signed with Tita Annabelle. I didn’t sign with ICONS because they wanted to deduct another 15% on top of the 25% that is being deducted by GMA Artist Center.

We found that too steep of a deduction for someone who just started such as myself. Because of all of this uncertainty and stress, my family and I decided that I go back to Switzerland and study there :( … This does not mean that I will be gone from the industry and craft that I love… Just a breather from all the chaos… Nakakalungkot na umabot pa sa ganito. But I’m also excited to study… I trust God’s plans for me.

Consequently, GMA network immediately responded and released it’s official statement regarding Lahbati’s Violation of Contract.

“Last December, Sarah Lahbati unilaterally decided to take a leave of absence of one (1) month from GMA Network, because she said she wanted to de-stress and unwind. Because her reasons were vague, they were not accepted by management. While we understand that work in our industry can be stressful (as in any business), we believe that this is not only unavoidable in most cases, but also a part of what one does as a professional and/or performing artist.

Her leave of absence was also disapproved by management because of her pending obligations (i.e. Party Pilipinas, on-going promos and other endorsement commitments). However, on the evening of Jan 2, she tweeted that she will be going to Switzerland to study, despite the disapproval given to her last December on taking a leave. This is in violation of her contract, because she has to perform and appear in programs and events assigned to her, and make herself available to faithfully and promptly fulfill all engagements contracted for her by GMA.

At the same time, she has yet to address the issue of her walking out during taping, which caused the production team to pack-up, and incur an additional cost of 500k. She is therefore, currently under investigation and the network is still studying on what actions to take.”

With this above statement, the Kokak breakthrough actress seemed disappointed for the  false accusations towards her and ended up tweeting again, emotional and sad. She pours down all her emotions and firmly denied about the walk-out issue and emphasized that she was treated like shit.

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.

GMA Network strikes again with a new official statement maintaining on its stand that Lahbati clearly violated her contract.

Sarah Lahbati’s Artist Management Contract with GMA Network is effective untilFebruary 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”.

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 the third time, Sarah answers the network’s statement and the reports regarding the war between her and the station on her Twitter account. She stresses that it was unfair to air the details pointing out against her. She revealed that she was never contacted by HOT TV to air her side about the whole story. It was completely foul and unfair for her. Accordingly, it was clearly to sabotage her and to make the network out of conscience.

I saw the episode of Hot tv yesterday and I cried while watching how Gma made a one sided story about what’s happening. It was clearly to sabotage me and to make them look clean. I was never asked or contacted by Hot TV about my side of the story. I never wanted to do.

This it’s not my character to tweet all of this, but people need to know the truth, pinalaki ako ng parents ko ng mabuti, hindi para apihin (BULLY) it’s not my character to tweet all of this, but people need to know the truth, pinalaki ako ng parents ko ng mabuti, hindi para apihin ng ganito, and to always stand by what’s true. So here’s the complete truth

ICONS is a talent management company that has nothing to do with Gma Network, it’s not a subsidiary company of Gma Artist Center there had been rumors for a long time that they work under the table for Gma artist center.

Attorney Felipe Gozon our big boss, who I only have good words for, wanted to get to the bottom of this mess but didn’t have proper evidence. It became almost like a myth in the network. One day my mother & I was asked by Mrs. Annette Gozon Abrogar & Arsi Baltazar(artist center head executives) to have a meeting with them regarding my career. When I arrived at our meeting place in Fridays Tomas Morato.

I was shocked because they were convincing me to sign a contract w/ ICONS talent management that is headed by Mr. Bebong Munoz & Andrew Dee.

They promised me projects and endorsements, I don’t know why two top executives of the Artist Center wanted me to sign with another the offer & we will also discuss it with my dad. My family declined the offer because we didn’t know Bebong Munoz & Andrew Dee, plus the deduction of 40 percent was too steep. Mrs. Anette Gozon Abrogar and Arsi Baltazar told me that a lot of artists from Gma Artist Center already signed with the ICONS company and they will be prioritized so I should do the same.

This is the reason why I signed a contract w/ Royal Artist (tita Annabelle Rama) dahil alam ko na Pwede mag pa co-manage w/ a different company ang artists ng GMA. Because of double bookings & a messed up schedule & other unsolved issues, I needed proper management & protection w/ my career, that’s why I asked for tita Annabelle’s help. After a few days I was asked by Gma to void my contract with Tita Annabelle or else they will file a lawsuit against me. So why is it that ICONS management can co-manage artists?

Why are they protected by Mrs. Annette Gozon Abrogar and Arsi Baltazar even if they get 40percent from artists salary?Yung walk out issue ko & diffrent blind items ginawa lang nila para mawala ang focus sa mas malaking problema, ang under the table deals ng ICONS with Gma Artist Center. I was offered by the daughter of the Network owner to join a company that does under the table deals in Gma and subtract 40 percent from my salary. THERE IS UNFAIR TREATMENT WITH NON ICONS ARTIST LIKE ME. 

If Gma is releasing all this bad publicity about me and saying that I have bad behavior then why don’t they release me and void my contract?

I ask Gma Artist Center now to void my contract with them because I will not have a peaceful and progressive working environment anymore.

They have a messed up system and I hope all the underground deals will be cleaned soon.

With their ceaseless here and there responses, who should be punished for this kind of unfortunate event? Who’s at fault?  Who will you believe, who tells the truth?

It’s very admiring to know that Sarah is a very brave woman who doesn’t mind if her career is at stake. With her detailed information about what had happened on the past (which can still happen now), this may conclude that she is revealing what she knew as fact and truth. With this, we can tell that she is honest with her sentiments.

4 thoughts on “Sarah Lahbati VS GMA Network Fuels Up; Who’s at Fault, Who Tells the Truth?

  1. Sarah made a big, big mistake that can end her carreer even in other stations-tweeting. If she did not tweet ,nobody knew it period. A close door case like other actor/actress or move to another station. Yes, big violation, signing contract without authority -common sense. She did not mention commision from Annabel,why? Maybe the same with Icon? or worst? Many talent were not paid even abroad, but they just keep silent. Madaling bumawi pag artista.

  2. for such kind of revelations, i think hindi nya makakayang sabihin yun if it’s not the truth kasi alam nya kung ano kalalabasan nun..i admire her for having a very strong personality to stand for her side. Such a strong lady.. Clap Sarah.. i think nakahanap ng katapat ang GMA Artist Center..

Share your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s