According to the New York Post, Niikki Finke is ratcheting up the feud again about her former boss Jay Penske. The divorce battle between Hollywood blogger Nikki Finke and publishing entrepreneur Jay Penske is starting to look like “War of The Roses”
The two are locked in a growing legal fight over whether Finke is entitled to a $3.5 million payout after her departure from Deadline Hollywood, the showbiz blog she founded in 2006 and later sold to Penske Media.
Finke claims that Penske fired her after mediation talks failed to resolve their year-long feud, and she’s owed salary, commissions and content-syndication fees through June 2016 as a result.
“By announcing publicly that they’re terminating me, they screwed the pooch,” Finke said.
Last week, Deadline and trade publication Variety, another Penske-owned outlet, announced that Finke would no longer lead the site.
Finke plans to launch a new site and claims there is no noncompete clause prohibiting her from doing so.
But she said Penske has sent cease-and-desist letters to companies that may or may not have talked to her about partnering on the launch. Penske couldn’t be reached for comment.
For months, Finke has been trying to take back control of Deadline, while Penske has been seeking to hold her to the term of her contract, which runs through 2016.
“I warned him that I would be his worst employee and that I hate authority and I didn’t want a boss, and I kept trying to get out of the sale,” she said.
Penske Media maintains it has the right to terminate people who disparage the company, sources close to the situation said, disputing Finke’s version of events. Finke, the sources added, signed a noncompete.
Penske is set to name a host of new heavyweight writers to bolster Deadline in the coming weeks, sources noted.
During mediation, both parties alleged breach of contract, prompting the mediator to call for a 20-day cooling-off period.