By Shane McGinley
Ex-contestant on UAE Apprentice-style television show sues for breach of contract
A British contestant on the UAE’s answer to ‘The Apprentice’ is suing the co-winner of the reality television show after claiming he failed to honour an agreement to split the $1m winnings.
Hannah Dodkin, 32, appeared on the TV show ‘The Hydra Executives’ in 2008 but was ‘fired’ halfway through the contest. However, a twist in the plot saw her return to take a spot in the final where her joint business plan with US architect Richard Best netted the show’s $1m cash prize.
In court documents filed in Los Angeles, Dodkin claimed Best reneged on a contract to split the winning jackpot and set up an architectural and interior design company together.
“[Best] has steadfastly refused to honor his commitments and word in the signed March 31, 2009 contract that quite clearly calls for an equal 50-50 split,” Dodkin's attorney Joseph Shemari told Courthouse News. “Mr Best has since stood firm in not only refusing Ms. Dodkin her fair share of the game winning prize-money, but as well as refusing to pursue a joint business venture for an architectural and interior design company with Ms. Dodkin, as explicitly agreed.”
Dodkin also claimed Best donated 10 percent of the prize money to a charity set up by the show’s host and former CEO of Hydra Properties, Sulaiman Al Fahim, without her consent.
The British entrepreneur is understood to be seeking a $500,000 share of the winnings and accrued interest.
‘Hydra Executives’, a spin-off based on the format popularized in ‘The Apprentice’, saw teams of US and UK contestants pitted against each other to win weekly business tasks.
The show saw former property tycoon Al Fahim take a Donald Trump-style role, firing one contestant each week.
Dodkin told Arabian Business in 2009 that the show had offered her a “fantastic opportunity”.
“I did not hesitate to be on the show, I was given the chance to improve myself and my life through this new experience,” she said.
When contacted by Arabian Business, Al Fahim said the $1m prize money had been paid in full to Los Angeles-based Best.
Spokespersons for Dodkin and Best were not immediately available to comment.
Let me see if I understood this correctly, you have two parties that agreed to share the winnings of a T.V show equaling to $1M. Both will receive an equal share of $500,000. Both parties VERBALLY agreed to these arrangements. I thought this T.V. show was suppose to pick and promote some of the brightest and smartest business minds and entrepreneurs, In guess no one told them that the first rule of business is to put it in writing. I guess they were not all that after all.
I see you are not reading the article all too well yourself. 4th paragraph, quote from Dodkin's attorney says it was a signed contract. Verbal contracts cant be signed surely...