TV personality Boy Abunda, who used to head the talent management company Backroom Inc., said he was disappointed with his former ward, singer Erik Santos, and wanted to “set the record straight” on why the artist transferred to Star Magic.
“Erik didn’t leave Backroom. He was released,” Abunda told Inquirer Entertainment in a phone interview on Sunday night. “We gave him a formal letter explaining why we had to let him go. This was because he badmouthed Backroom and lied to some of our common friends.”
Abunda was reacting to a story published Sept. 21 in Inquirer Entertainment, in which Santos said he left Backroom because “there were a lot of changes in its management” since Abunda left it to focus on caring for his ailing mother.”
In the same story, which quoted Santos during a media gathering for his new album, “Awit Para Sa ’Yo” (Star Records), the singer explained: “I’m not saying I didn’t like the changes. It’s just that I have other considerations, both personal and professional.”
Santos ended his seven-year business relationship with Backroom Inc. in August, and is now comanaged by ABS-CBN’s Star Magic group and Cornerstone Talent Management Center headed by Erickson Raymundo.
“I nurtured him, although he also worked hard,” Abunda said. “I think Erik has forgotten this. It’s sad that he has disregarded the contributions of Backroom to his career.”
Abunda said he felt bad when he found out that Santos had spoken to people about how he felt Backroom had neglected him. “Erik also said he disliked some of the people in the office. I just want to remind Erik to slow down. He should give credit where credit is due.”
Abunda, however, is open to talking with Santos. He added that he understood how difficult it must have been for the singer to answer questions in a press conference. “I still think he should have spoken the truth, or he could have just said, ‘I don’t want to talk about it anymore’ when reporters tried to grill him. He had a choice not to go into details.”
He may not be a perfect manager, Abunda admitted, “but I know I deserve respect. I still love him (Erik). I consider this just a crack in our relationship. I just want him to learn a lesson.”