LOS ANGELES - Mary Murphy's former manager claims in court that stardom turned the choreographer for the Fox TV show "So You Think You Can Dance" into a "desperate, cocaine-fueled nymphomaniac" who owes him more than $1 million.
In his Superior Court complaint, Michael Sanchez claims Murphy breached agreements dating back to 2006 after she fired him by email this year.
Sanchez says that his company, Axis Management, took Murphy on as a relative unknown and transformed her into a star host of the dance contest reality show.
Murphy quickly became "self-absorbed, childish and demanding," according to the complaint. But Sanchez claims he was still able to mold "Mary Murphy and MMPI [Mary Murphy Productions Inc.] into a global brand generating millions of dollars in revenue."
Sanchez says he helped counsel Murphy through depression, "suicidal thoughts," addiction to plastic surgery, which resulted in "multiple secret operations," and drug addiction.
According to the complaint, her abuse of prescription drugs and illegal drugs "caused Murphy to miss and/or underperform in meetings and major P.R. appearances, including a series of 2009 radio interviews, after which Sanchez was forced to enlist the help of The Palazzo [hotel, in Las Vegas] security personnel to break into Murphy's apartment when she was unresponsive, and, following a cocaine fueled evening of partying, a Mardi Gras appearance in Sydney, Australia. After the missed Mardi Gras appearance, Sanchez and another witness found Murphy in her hotel suite, high on drugs, in bed with a 'So You Think You Can Dance' producer, with cocaine on the nightstand," the complaint states.
Sanchez claims he also helped cover up Murphy's "inappropriate sexual relationships" with television crew members, a drug dealer, a married U.S. Navy officer, and a bogus prince who had targeted "other wealthy, older woman."
All of this, Sanchez claims, led him to conclude that "Murphy had become a desperate, cocaine-fueled nymphomaniac."
Elsewhere in the complaint, Sanchez claims Murphy smuggled alcohol into a Coke cup during studio tapings of "So You Think You Can Dance," and lied to Us Weekly about her allegedly abusive ex-husband, Mohamad Masri Elyafaoui.
Murphy told the magazine that Mohamad was dead, though he was alive, never mentioned that she had married him twice, and that it was Mohamad who had filed for divorce, according to the complaint.
In the aftermath, Murphy attempted to cover her tracks by claiming that Mohamad wanted to assassinate her, Sanchez says.
Murphy also lost $50,000 worth of checks which later showed up in the trunk of her car, according to the complaint.
"(R)ather than apologize for the stress and payment delay her mismanagement caused, Murphy demanded that Sanchez set up an entirely new accounting process whereby all checks would be sent to her first and then she would send Sanchez his 10 percent commission. Sanchez agreed to Murphy's demands and created an entirely new accounting process for Murphy, separate from the accounting process he used for all of his other clients," the complaint states.
Sanchez says that Murphy then demanded an audit of Sanchez's books. He says that even though Murphy's accountant gave him a "seal of approval," Murphy fired him by email in late February.
Their 2006 management agreement guaranteed Sanchez and Axis "'10 percent of all entertainment-related earnings' and 'any commission-generating projects will continue to do so until said project is completed,'" Sanchez says in his complaint.
Sanchez seeks $164,000 for present damages and $1 million for future damages for breach of contract. He is represented by Steven Krakowsky.
Murphy's publicist declined to comment.