Few X Factor fans have probably forgotten the controversy that surrounded Cheryl Cole’s abrupt firing from the US version of X Factor, especially since she’d only been on a couple of auditions before she’s let go. She’s now suing producers for not paying her the salary she would have been due for season 2.
The matter is as complicated as it’s apparently absurd – but Cole is saying in court documents obtained by E! that her contract included a “pay or play” clause that means she must get paid for season 2 even though she was not a part of it.
For a bit of context: for years, Cheryl was Simon Cowell’s best friend and fellow judge on X Factor UK. When Cowell decided to bring the show to the US, he brought Cheryl along but eventually fired her after a very short while because no one could understand what she was saying, and she was deemed a wrong judge for the show.
Even though she did not even make it to the live shows, Cheryl was paid for the full season as compensation, according to reports at the time.
However, in the recent lawsuit, she’s saying she should have been paid for season 2 as well because, apparently, her contract was for 2 seasons.
“Cole states that a ‘pay or play’ clause in her contract entitles her to the $2 million [€1.54 million] she was promised for the show's second season, as well as various allowances she was given for hotels, stylists, wardrobe and other show-related expenses that she never got to use,” E! writes.
“Cole's complaint states that she was paid her $1.8 million [€1.39 million] salary for season one but is still owed her $2 million [€1.54 million] season-two paycheck, plus her $100,000 [€77,363] one-time wardrobe allowance; her $25,000 [€19,340] one-time all-inclusive stylist allowance; her $15,000-per-month [€11,604] apartment allowance to rent in Los Angeles; and a $2,500-per-month [€1,934] living allowance,” adds the same report.
That’s a lot of money she’s asking for for basically doing nothing.
“She also wants defendant Blue Orbit Productions to reimburse her for her personal security expenses and the first-class flights she took from London to LA and then — sooner than she thought — back across the pond, as well as three round-trip coach seats for members of her staff,” adds the same media outlet.
For the time being, neither Simon Cowell nor the producer of the show, FremantleMedia North America, has addressed the claims made in the lawsuit in any way.