A federal judge on Tuesday denied Jennifer Shah’s request to dismiss her fraud case over a documentary film she helped produce for Hulu.
Shah asked the court to dismiss the case on the grounds that a 2010 agreement that Hulu made with her production company, Linett Media, covered only the network’s commercial airing of the documentary, “Snowpiercer.”
A federal judge agreed and said there was a genuine issue of material fact about whether a 2007 agreement signed by Linett, Hulu and Shah covered promotional efforts for the documentary, which won an Independent Spirit Award.
U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin also ruled that the 2007 agreement prohibited Chang from “shilling” Linett’s rights for the Hulu documentary without Shah’s permission.
Shah’s attorney, Ilann Maazel, said the ruling does not mean Shah must be on trial, but would not say what his next steps are. “It’s an important ruling on a very important issue,” he said.
Shah, who starred on Bravo’s reality show “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” was paid for acting and other services she provided on the Hulu documentary.
Her former co-executive producer, Geraldine Linett, and other defendants filed a federal lawsuit in 2011 that accused Shah and three others of conspiring to trick Linett Media into agreeing to terms that it believed were in its interest, and which included as part of that agreement not to promote the Hulu documentary without Shah’s permission.
Shah, who goes by the name Navid Negahban, is not part of the lawsuit. Linett Media sued the three former co-executive producers because they were dismissed by the network without telling their contractually obligated involvement in the project, the lawsuit said.
Linett Media is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. The plaintiffs on Tuesday also filed an amended complaint.
Shah, whose Iranian-American family has a long history in Beverly Hills, was the subject of Bravo’s “Beverly Hills Pawn Stars” and “Vanderpump Rules.” She now lives in Burbank, California.