Bert Fields, the relentlessly loyal powerhouse entertainment lawyer who repped clients including Harvey and Bob Weinstein, Tom Cruise, George Lucas, the Beatles, Michael Jackson and many others in myriad headline-making cases in Hollywood, has died, TMZ reports. He was 93.
A partner at Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP, Fields tried many of the landmark cases in the entertainment and communications industries during the past several decades. He represented most major Hollywood studios and talent agencies during his singular career and such other bold-faced names as Jeffrey Katzenberg, David Geffen, James Cameron, Warren Beatty, Dustin Hoffman, Mike Nichols, Jerry Bruckheimer, Joel Silver, Madonna and writers Mario Puzo, James Clavell, Tom Clancy and Clive Cussler.
Harvey Weinstein, told The New York Times in 2005, ”In the entertainment business, walking into litigation without Bert Fields is like walking into the Arctic without a jacket.”
His many high-profile cases included repping Katzenberg in his messy divorce from Disney and Lucas’ sale of Star Wars to the conglomerate, Jackson’s landmark contract with Sony Music, winning a huge award for the Beatles and Apple Corps over the Beatlemania musical and Beatty fight to keep Paramount Studios’ from cutting a few minutes from his film Reds.
He famously was “banned” from Disney by then-boss Michael Eisner. “I think it was over Lucas, I’m not sure,” he told Deadline in a 2015 interview. “But I was banned and Jeffrey Katzenberg really solved that. He was working at Disney at the time, and he had asked me to lunch, and he said, ‘Look, I’m sorry about that and I’m going to try and make it work out.’ And he did. I was starting a strike by all the key entertainment lawyers against Disney. I was going to say if they’re barring me from the lot, none of us are going to deal with Disney. But I didn’t have to do that because Jeffrey got Eisner to back down.”
Fields also was a key figure in the case of Anthony Pellicano, the disgraced and convicted private investigator who specialized in digging up dirt on Hollywood heavyweights by whatever means necessary — oftentimes illegally.
He also authored books including two novels, biographies on Richard III and Elizabeth I and an analysis of the Shakespeare authorship question.
MORE TO COME…