Anna: I'll see you in court
April 2, 2003 7:04am
TENNIS star Anna Kournikova is to sue an Irish promotion company for failing to pass on part of her EUR25,000 appearance fee to charity.
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The blonde beauty pledged the money to the Chernobyl Children's Project (CCP) after appearing in the Trilogy tennis tournament and fashion show in Dublin last December.
The event was organised by 22-year-old former tennis pro Sean Collins, also known as Sean Collins-McCarthy, of the promotions company Propriety Management.
But the business went into liquidation at the weekend, owing EUR3.6million to 64 creditors and the charity has yet to receive the pledged part of the star's fee.
Yesterday sports agent Ryan Rodenburg accused Propriety Management of not meeting its "obligations" to his clients Miss Kournikova and fellow tennis star Barbara Schett.
And he warned the pair are now prepared to use "legal means" to enforce the obligation.
He said: "We were in discussions with the promoters of the event, but they have not met their obligations to our clients."
The tennis duo were among a host of stars, including sisters Venus and Serena Williams and models Tyra Banks and Sophie Dahl, who took part in the Trilogy event at the RDS.
Thousands of people attended the matches and fashion show and the CCP had hoped for a EUR500,000 windfall.
But the charity has so far only received EUR10,000, including EUR7,500 from a raffle and EUR2,500 from RTE's Mary Kennedy, who handed over her presenter's fee.
Miss Kournikova, 21, decided to donate her appearance fee after meeting Adi Roche of the CCP. The third leg of the Trilogy was to have been a pop concert but the promoter failed to secure an A-list star in time. A Chernobyl Children's Project spokesman confirmed Miss Kournikova's representatives had contacted them to see if they had received her donated fee.
Emmet Coffey said: "We told them that we hadn't received the money. They were very disappointed with that."
The charity had earmarked the cash to buy food, clothes and medical supplies.
However, the company is thought to have promoted the event on the basis the charity would only get money if it made a profit. It is understood the event was unable to cover itself as expected levels of sponsorship and advertising revenue did not materialise.
More than 60 creditors, including Bono's brother Norman Hewson who according to reports is owed EUR1million, may now try to recoup their claims against Collins.
Others who reportedly haven't been paid include the public relations company Bill O'Herlihy Communications, which is owed more than EUR100,000 in fees by the firm.
Chauffeur to the stars, Mick Devine who gave actress Julia Roberts away at her last wedding, is believed to be owed more than EUR10,000.
Collins could not be contacted yesterday at the office number he used to organise the event.
A Garda spokesman said no complaints have been made against Collins or Propriety Management. He added: "If complaints are received they will go to our fraud section for investigation."
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