Famous architect Frank Gehry is being sued by a California company that claims he defrauded them in a deal for his new Tiffany jewelry collection.
Circa Publishing Enterprises LLC contends it had a deal with Gehry for the exclusive rights to produce, distribute and sell Gehry-trademarked jewelry and gift items.
The suit involves the Frank Gehry Collection, unveiled last year.
Gehry was out of the office and not immediately available for comment Tuesday, according to an e-mail from his representatives.
According to the lawsuit, Circa introduced Gehry and his Gehry Design LLC of Los Angeles to Tiffany to explore producing a jewelry line several years ago. Circa was supposed to receive half of the net proceeds from the sales.
However, in 2004 Gehry approached Frederick M. Nicholas, a Circa executive and friend of Gehry for more than 40 years.
According to the lawsuit, Gehry said he wanted to deal directly with Tiffany instead of through Circa. Nicholas agreed on condition that Gehry notify Circa of any deal that was reached.
But the suit, filed Friday, contends Gehry and his company never provided Circa with a copy of the Tiffany agreement or sales and earnings figures, and thus Circa cannot determine how much it is owed under the original contract.
The suit seeks unspecified damages and alleges fraud, breach of contract and unfair business practices, among other things.