Belushi files law suits after comedy club deals go south

ACTOR JIM BELUSHI filed two lawsuits in relating to a failed deal with a local comedy owner. The first was a defamation suit seeking $50,000 in damages against Sahar Chavoshi, manager of The Comedy Bar, claiming she’d maligned him to other comedians.

Belushi runs and licenses the trademark “Belushi’s Comedy Bar” to stand-up clubs and was negotiating to license the name to Kyle Lane, the club’s co-owner. But when negotiations went south, the suit claims, Chavoshi, Lane’s girlfriend, bad-mouthed Belushi and caused two comics to cancel appearances at his clubs.

The second suit claims Lane failed to pay Belushi around $39,000 for expenses and payment related to promotional work.

THIS WEEK, Starz is shooting the first episode of 13-part, half hour “The Girlfriend Experience” series, written and directed by Amy Seimets, who has also appeared in three Joe Swanberg Swanberg films, the first of her many indie performances.

Based on Steven Soderbergh’s 2009 feature, it stars Riley Keough (“Magic Mike”), Elvis Presley’s granddaughter, as a U of C law student and prestigious law firm intern who is introduced to an exclusive, personalized escort service, enlisting men who pay for more than just sex. Soderbergh is the new series’ EP.

NEW AT RADAR is the eighth commercial director on its roster, LA-based Frank Donnangelo, an Arkansas native who began his career out of college at Digital Kitchen, where he gained motion graphics experience. After two years at DK, he began freelancing which brought him to Radar. Donnangelo is also a DP and still photographer.

“EMPIRE’S” SEASON ONE garnered four nominations from the Television Critics Association Awards: Program of the Year, Outstanding New Program and Outstanding Achievement in Drama.  Co-star Taraji P. Henson was nominated for Individual Achievement in Drama.

“Empire” is ramping up at Cinespace to start filming Season Two this month.

THE CONDO FEATURED IN “EMPIRE” should actually belong to an industry tycoon like Lucious Lyon.  The 9,300-sq. ft. condo penthouse at 415 E. North Water is on the market for a $13 million price ticket. It includes an indoor basketball court, three saltwater aquariums, a steam room big enough for 30 and a wraparound terrace overlooking the lake. 

The Wachowskis also shot scenes there for “Jupiter Ascending.” “You can’t find another penthouse like this in the city,” said listing agent Phil Skowron. Except, of course, on television. 

TWO AWARDS TO AGENCY SCC: Account supervisor Paige Robinson won PRSA’s Silver Anvil (PR’s equivalent to a marketing Effie) for the agency’s work on its Allen Edmonds men’s shoes account. Meanwhile, account executive Kelsey Brennan accepted the Publicity Club of Chicago’s Silver Trumpet for SCC’s integrated work on Wrigley Co.’s 100th birthday.   

INDEPENDENT WRITERS OF CHICAGO (IWOC) on Tuesday, June 9 will hear award-winning journalist, social media and innovation expert Bob Yovovichexplore such issues as: The declining importance of SEO, lessons from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the impact of YouTube, LinkedIn and other social media and the evolving role of infographics.

At Fourth Presbyterian Church’s Gratz Center, 126 E. Chestnut, room 4F, 6 p.m.; members free, non-members, $15.

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