"Game of Thrones" actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau sued his former manager and her talent agency Friday, alleging she duped him into signing agreements to pay commissions that he believed had solely to do with his visa applications.
Coster-Waldau's Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit names as defendants Jill Littman and Impression Entertainment Inc. The suit seeks a court order that the two written agreements the 47-year-old Danish actor signed in 2011 and 2014 -- dubbed "sham documents" in the lawsuit -- are not binding on him and that only the parties' verbal agreement is valid.
Littman could not be immediately reached for comment.
According to the complaint, Coster-Waldau -- who plays Sir Jaime Lannister on the HBO series -- met Littman in 2006 when she was working for Handprint Management. He was seeking more acting opportunities and she responded that she was well-connected in the industry and could find him "great projects," his suit states.
The two sides verbally agreed for Coster-Waldau to hire Littman and that he could end their agreement at any time without having to pay more commissions, according to the suit.
When Littman left Handprint in 2008 and formed Impression Entertainment, she asked the actor to sign a written agreement, but he insisted on maintaining their oral pact, the suits states.
In 2011, according to the suit, Littman and Coster-Waldau decided he should obtain a three-year, O-1 visa, which the U.S. government issues to foreign nationals considered to have "extraordinary abilities" in various disciplines, including the arts.
Based on Littman's representation, the actor says he signed a document she gave him that year, thinking it was solely meant to help him in his visa application. He was unaware that it contained provisions that prevented him from ending his agreement with Impression for three years and that he would still owe commissions on all seasons of "Game of Thrones" even after he left Impressions, the suit says. He also says he did not know that signing the document obligated him to arbitration in disputes.
In 2014, when the term of the first visa was about to expire, Littman convinced Coster-Waldau to sign a similar agreement to the 2011 contract, which he once again thought had solely to do with his new visa application, the suit states.
Coster-Waldau claims he would not have signed the 2014 "sham" document if he had known the defendants' true intention to bind him to an agreement to pay commissions after he left Impressions.
Coster-Waldau ended the oral agreement in September 2015, at which time Impressions insisted on receiving additional commissions from "Game of Thrones" and other projects beyond that date, the suit says.
"Coster-Waldau denied, and continues to deny, any obligation to pay such commissions," the suit states.