“Despite hiring and supporting Defendant Bryan Behar, a writer and Co-Executive Producer on "Fuller House," Behal was resentful of Franklin’s success,” says the Intentional interference with prospective economic advantage complaint filed Tuesday in L.A. Superior court by ex-EP Jeff Franklin against his once co-EP and showrunning successor.
“Motivated by a secret hatred of Franklin and hoping to take his place someday as showrunner, Behar concocted a plan to compile unflattering and distasteful information about Franklin that was either fabricated or twisted versions of events and presented it first to the media and then to Warner Brothers in an effort to get Franklin thrown off "Fuller House," the jury trial seeking suit adds (read it here).
Amid claims that he had been verbally abusive to staffers and made inappropriate remarks in the writers’ room, Franklin was unceremoniously fired from "Fuller House" and saw his production deal with WB severed in February 2018. “I’m heartbroken to be leaving 'Fuller House,' Franklin said soon afterward on social media. “Creating and running 'Full House' and 'Fuller House' has been the greatest joy.”
The next month, Behar and Steve Baldikoski were made EPs and co-showrunners for the then recently renewed fourth season of the Andrea Barber, Candace Cameron Bure, Jodie Sweetin, Bob Saget, Dave Coulier, John Stamos led series.
Which, according to Franklin’s seething and wide ranging damages seeking complaint, was exactly Behar’s plan on the Warner Horizon Scripted TV and Miller-Boyett Productions produced series after that fourth season renewal from Netflix.
“Franklin’s unwavering support of Behar was not appreciated, however.” the often 12-page filing by Larry Stein and attorneys at Russ, August & Kabat states. “Franklin is informed and believes, and based thereon alleges, that Behar began plotting a scheme against Franklin by secretly keeping a self- described ‘little black book’ in which he would regularly write down anything Franklin said or did that could possibly be twisted into something negative and unprofessional to use against Franklin,” the suit claims.
“Franklin is informed and believes, and based thereon alleges, that Behar also secretly photographed Franklin and his female friends and female employees at work and at Franklin’s home, and also took photos of Franklin’s computer screen at the office, all of which he added to his ‘little black book’ and showed to others involved with "Fuller House" in order to paint Franklin in a negative light.”
“Indeed, based on information and belief, it appears Behar took real encounters with Franklin and distorted them to create false narratives that painted Franklin as sexist and unprofessional,” the complaint asserts, In particular, Franklin’s lawyers detail a “thank you” party that Franklin hosted at his own house for writer that Behar told WB brass the former made female writers wear bikinis.
In today’s suit, Franklin’s team says that was a distortion of an offer that the EP made to everyone at the event to slip into bathing suits he provided if they wanted to jump in his pool. The complaints adds that Franklin believes Behar hoped to take advantage of the #metoo movement sweeping Hollywood at the time in the wake of the assault and more allegations against Harvey Weinstein.
Warner Horizon declined comment on the matter and Netflix did not respond to a request from Deadline about the suit. Having said that, neither are named as defendants in the filing. Reps for Bryan Behar also did not respond when Deadline reached out to them.
This is the second slap "Fuller House" has taken directly and indirectly in the last month. While Netfix has publicly addressed the fate of Lori Loughlin in the upcoming final season, it is clear that the actor who played Aunt Becky on the original and the reboot will not be returning after being indicted on multiple charges in the on-going elite schools admission federal investigation on March 12.
Fired by Hallmark Channel and currently out on $1 million dollar bail bond, Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli plead not guilty on April 15 to various conspiracy charges, including money laundering.
The UTA-repped Loughlin and Giannulli were part of a yearlong investigation that also snared "American Crime" star Huffman and more than 30 other parents. The couple is accused of paying “bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew — thereby facilitating their admission to USC,” according to the 200-page indictment announced by federal prosecutors last month.
The indictments made public on March 12 saw 50 people charged in the $25 million nationwide scam by William Singer and his phony Key Worldwide Foundation. The plan was to grease some palms to fast-track the kids of the wealthy including the guilty pleading Huffman and Loughlin to top schools with fake athletic credentials or phony SAT scores.
That’s a very different type of fuller house potentially in Loughlin’s future, with the combined conspiracy charges totally a 40-year maximum sentence.