PETALING JAYA: As the winner of the “Funniest Person in the World” in December 2016, Harith was supposed to have received US$100,000 (RM407,500) as the grand prize.
However, in December 2018, THR reported that Laugh Factory still owed Harith about US$70,000 of the promised US$100,000 prize.
The entertainment news outlet noted that since Harith won the contest in December 2016, he had received a US$1,000 payment for being one of the 20 finalists and three instalments totalling US$30,995.
Harith then proceeded to sue Laugh Factory for promissory fraud, breach of contract, misleading advertising and unfair competition among other claims, according to the report.
Tables have turn now as Laugh Factory has decided to countersue Harith.
The US company has filed a US$10mil (RM41mil) lawsuit against the Malaysian comedian, alleging “massive breach of contract and copyright infringement”.
In a press statement, Laugh Factory lead attorney Clifton W. Albright said, “The impact of this case will be significant and far-reaching for comedy clubs and the protection of their brands, reputation and trade secrets”.
According to the cross-complaint filed on Feb 27, Laugh Factory owner Jamie Masada alleged it was Harith who had initiated the contact with him about competing in the “Funniest Person in the World” contest in 2016, and also about bringing the Laugh Factory brand to Asia.
Masada claimed Harith offered to open Laugh Factory clubs in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Jakarta, and also claimed former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was his “silent partner”.
“They ultimately agreed to a joint venture to expand the brand in Asia, but it was never executed or formalised.