Richard Abate was understandably relieved to finally leave the stand around 2 PM or so, having been grilled at great extent by both his own counsel as well as ICM‘s. Not only do we know know a hell of a lot about what happened leading up to his departure, but also about some of his pending deals, such as YA superstar Lisi Harrison‘s new deal, “the biggest in ICM history”, Chuck Hogan‘s probable collaboration with PAN’S LABYRINTH director Guillermo Del Toro, and of course, a whole lot of financial information. But the fun really began when Esther Newberg took the stand and related her side of events.
“I did view him as my friend,” Newberg said pointedly, making it extremely clear she now thought otherwise. “He never mentioned any interest in Endeavor,” even while he talked off and on about not being ready to make a decision with regards to the contract renewal, that he needed to talk to his wife or maybe go off on his own. Newberg claimed Abate’s reticence stemmed from being unhappy, jealous even, about Sloan Harris‘s elevation to co-president of ICM when he was only four years older than Abate. And that is where the betrayal – which Newberg stated she “felt then and now” – stemmed from: “[Abate] told me it didn’t bother him that Harris, only four years older with a stunning client list, was elevated.” Even though Newberg thought highly of Abate – “we wanted him to renew, and made it clear he could do whatever he wanted, even fly back and forth between New York and Los Angeles because he had an interest in doing more Hollywood work” – she never viewed him as a possible co-president as ICM didn’t think “he had enough judgment” for the position.