Actor Not Responsible for Botched Diet Plan: CA
MANILA – The Court of Appeal (CA) has upheld an appeal filed by actor Aga Muhlach and his manager to overturn a lower court decision that ordered them to pay more than PHP 7 million in breach damages of contract.
CA’s Third Division ‘extinguished’ all obligations of Muhlach and talent manager Ethelwolda Ramos of management company AMC Entertainment with Pacific Asian Advertising Specialist, Inc. (PAASI) in a 28-page decision written by Associate Judge Pablito Perez on January 11 and made public online on Monday.
PAASI had hired AMC in 2009 for Muhlach to promote aesthetics firm Marie France for the men’s weight loss program for PHP10 million, of which PHP6.5 million was paid before the legal line began.
As of March 8, 2010, when the contract was signed, Muhlach reportedly lost 32 inches in body width and weighed 182 pounds from a starting point of 190 pounds.
PAASI then sued Muhlach after discovering that the actor had said in interviews that his weight loss was the result of gym workouts and minimized food intake.
Branch 59 of the Makati City Regional Trial Court voided the talent contract and ordered AMC Entertainment and Muhlach to compensate PAASI for the damages.
In reversing and quashing the Makati court’s decision, the CA said Muhlach “was not in material breach of the talent contract”, noting among other things that reports that he was seen training at a gym in violation of his talent contract were hearsay. .
The AC said the talent contract clearly states that Muhlach had a positive obligation to undergo weight loss treatments “three to five times a week during the first phase and at least once a week during the following phases to maintain her ideal weight of ____ pounds”. .
The talent contract does not specify where Muhlach would undergo treatment and he was not required to exclusively undergo treatment at Marie France, the CA ruling said.
“All things considered, leaving the parties where they are is the fairest resolution to this dispute,” the AC ruled. “The parties were unable to agree on a desired outcome, whether it be Muhlach’s weight or physique. His talent contract weight/height profile was left blank by AMC. (NAP)