Headley Reaches Settlement in Jackson Lawsuits
Updated: Tuesday, March 13, 2007 9:29 PM
Posted: Friday, March 9, 2007 10:12 AM
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
Thoroughbred owner Jess Jackson, right, who has reportedly reached an out-of-court settlement with Bruce Headley.
Defendant Bruce Headley has reached an out-of-court settlement with Jess Jackson in the billionaire horseman’s high-profile lawsuits, and has apparently agreed to cooperate in the investigation against his former associates.
Headley, who was originally named along with six other horsemen and related entities in lawsuits Jackson filed in California and Kentucky, reportedly settled for $900,000, according to attorneys connected to the case.
“Bruce Headley agreed to pay an amount which represents disgorgement of every cent he inappropriately received,” said Lexington-based attorney Richard Getty, who is part of Jackson’s legal team. “Mr. Jackson set out to get his money back from Mr. Headley, and he did just that.”
Contacted at his barn Friday morning, Headley refused to comment, but indicated he would soon be releasing a statement on the settlement.
As part of the settlement, Getty said that Headley has agreed to work with the Jackson team in future efforts involving the lawsuits.
“Mr. Headley has agreed to provide testimony and cooperate on behalf of Mr. Jackson,” Getty said.
The settlement reportedly was a by-product of mediation hearings held in California in recent weeks that involved Jackson and most or all of the defendants.
Headley was part of a group of horsemen formerly affiliated with Jackson that were accused of collaborating to defraud the winemaker on purchases involving horses and the former Buckram Oak Farm in Kentucky.
Besides Headley, other defendants originally named in the California suit filed in 2005 were Buckram Oak Holdings, Continental Bloodstock, Emmanuel de Seroux, Fernando Diaz-Valdez, Brad Martin, Frederic Sauque and Narvick International.
Buckram Oak Holdings was later dismissed by a judge based on jurisdictional issues, and Jackson responded to that ruling in 2006 by filing a lawsuit in Kentucky that specifically deals with the $17.5 million purchase of the former Buckram Oak Farm.
Also named in the Kentucky action in addition to Buckram Oak Holding were De Seroux, Headley, Martin and Sauque. The horsemen are accused of colluding with Buckram Oak officials to secure at least $1.5 million from Jackson by inflating the price of the farm property.
Sauque has also been dismissed from the California lawsuit for lack of evidence and jurisdiction, but Jackson’s attorneys have filed a motion to reconsider that decision. A similar dismissal request by Sauque is pending in the Kentucky case.
In January, a California judge denied a request by Jackson’s attorneys to deliver a summary judgment against De Seroux, who is accused of coordinating nearly $2.8 million in secret commissions from 25 private horse sale transactions from 2003-2005.
De Seroux and Narvick have filed a countersuit in which it is claimed, in part, that Jackson hasn’t paid the entirety of an agreed 5% commission due on more than $60 million in alleged transactions involving about 140 horses.
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