Don Johnson's "Nash Bridges" judgment doubled

LOS ANGELES Wed Sep 8, 2010 6:26pm EDT

Cast member Don Johnson poses at the premiere of ''Machete'' at the Orpheum theatre in Los Angeles August 25, 2010. The movie opens in the U.S. on September 3. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Cast member Don Johnson poses at the premiere of ''Machete'' at the Orpheum theatre in Los Angeles August 25, 2010. The movie opens in the U.S. on September 3.

Credit: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actor Don Johnson more than doubled his legal judgment against producers of the television show "Nash Bridges" as a judge on Wednesday added $28 million in interest to the sum originally awarded him by a jury.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Stern said he was giving Johnson 10 percent in annual interest dating back to 1998, when the performer signed his contract with the production company Rysher Entertainment LLC.

Johnson, 60, sued Rysher in February 2009 claiming he had been denied his fair share of profits from "Nash Bridges" as a 50-percent owner of the copyright to the San Francisco-based cop drama, which co-starred Cheech Marin and ran for six seasons on CBS ending in 2001.

Rysher argued that the show, which still airs in syndication in some 43 countries around the world, continued to run a deficit and that Johnson already had earned about $40 million from fees as an actor and producer.

But a jury in July ruled in Johnson's favor, awarding him $23.2 million in profits. The interest granted by the judge amounts to an additional $28 million, according to his lawyer, Mark Holsher.

Stern also denied a separate motion by Rysher's lawyers to reduce the original judgment to $15 million.

"I'm delighted. It's appropriate. I've waited a long time," Johnson said outside the courtroom following Wednesday's ruling.

The actor, whose biggest TV hit was the 1980s-era police show "Miami Vice," had sought as much as $105 million from Rysher, but the jury deducted costs for production, distribution and other expenses.

(Editing by Jill Serjeant)

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