GMA Films President Atty. Annette Gozon-Abrogar has formally sued Sarah Lahbati for libel on January 10. This was brought about by the actress’s claims of alleged “under the table” deals made by GMA Artist Center with ICONS management group.

“Instead of trial by publicity, the case will now be brought to the proper forum,” read the advisory released by GMA Network Corporate Communications to PEP.ph. “Once the case is filed, the subjudice rule applies and parties who continue to talk about the issue in public can be held in contempt of court.”

Prior to this, the network released a statement, which can be read on PEP.ph, answering all of Sarah’s new accusations. “Atty. Annette Gozon-Abrogar reiterates that she never asked or referred Sarah to ICONS for a co-management contract,” said the statement. “According to Atty. Gozon-Abrogar, 'The only referral to ICONS that was ever made was for branding assistance, not for co-management, in order to get more endorsements.'”

GMA-7 also revealed that Sarah had submitted her complaints about the company last November 2012 and that the network had immediately investigated the actress’s claims. “After the investigation, however, Sarah’s allegations were found baseless,” read the statement, reiterating that no “under the table” deal happened between GMA Artist Center and ICONS management.

Atty. Felipe L. Gozon, the chairman and CEO of the network, also clarified that he never promised to side with Sarah. “In reference to her tweet saying '… I was even guaranteed protection by Mr. Gozon if I tell every detail, but when the blame pointed towards Anette, it became a different story…,' Atty. Felipe L. Gozon clarifies that what he said to Sarah and her mother was that he was grateful to them for sharing the details about the ICONS referral issue,” GMA-7 said. “Atty. Gozon, contrary to what Sarah is now claiming in her tweets, never guaranteed them protection, 'She did not ask for protection and I did not guarantee that I will protect her. I cannot protect anyone who is not telling the truth.'”

(Photo courtesy of PEP.ph)

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