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”.
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 inEat Bulaga, the top-rating noontime show of GMA. However, Sarah did not take part in the November 10 episode ofEat 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.