Author Clive Cussler will soon need to open his bankbook and pay out some major cash due to his 2007 lost court case over the Sahara rights. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge John P. Shook agreed with lawyers for Crusader Entertainment and ordered Clive Cussler to pay $13.9 million in legal fees to the production company that turned his novel "Sahara" into a box-office flop. The judge says that the original contract between the two parties called for an award of legal fees if either side breached.
"The issue boils down to whether the fees requested are reasonable and necessary," Shook said. He concluded that they were.
Cussler sued Crusader in 2004, claiming the company reneged on a contract that gave him approval rights over the film's screenplay. Crusader, which is owned by billionaire Philip Anschutz, countersued, accusing Cussler of duping it into adapting his book into a film based on an inflated number of novels sold.
Jurors ruled in May 2007 in favor of the production company, and the author was ordered to pay Crusader $5 million.
Crusader's lawyers are obviously happy with the decision to pay the legal fees while Cussler's lawyers plan to appeal.