Lahbati blasts GMA7 on management of Kapuso artists


Sarah Lahbati

MANILA, Philippines–Actress Sarah Lahbati, who recently demanded for the revocation of her talent management contract with GMA7, has accused network executives of being involved in “under-the-table deals” in relation to the management of other Kapuso artists.

In her Twitter account posted on Jan. 7, the 19-year-old actress revealed that GMA Films president Annette Gozon-Abrogar and GMA Artist Center (GMAAC) head for talent management Arsi Baltazar have arranged a meeting with her to convince her to sign a contract with Icons, another talent management outfit headed by Bebong Muñoz and Andrew Dee.

“They promised me projects and endorsements. I don’t know why (they) wanted me to sign with another management company and get another 15 percent from my salary,” Lahbati said. GMAAC deducts 25 percent from the take-home pay of each of its talents.

Lahbati said she turned down the offer “because we didn’t know Muñoz and Dee, plus the deduction of 40 percent was too steep.” She said Abrogar and Baltazar told her that “a lot of artists from GMAAC already signed with the Icons company and they will be prioritized so I should do the same.”

The actress then said she opted to sign up with Royal Era Entertainment and Artist Management, owned by Annabelle Rama, mom to her boyfriend actor Richard Gutierrez. “This was because I know co-managing with a different company was allowed,” she explained. “Because of double bookings, a messed-up schedule and other unsolved issues, I needed proper management and protection with my career. That was why I asked for Tita Annabelle’s help.”

Lahbati said GMA7 has demanded that she revoke her contract with Rama “or else it will file a lawsuit against me. So why is that Icons Management can co-manage artists?”

For the issues she raised on Twitter, Lahbati was “evidently beclouding the real issue, which was whether or not she indeed violated her contract” with GMA 7, the network said in a statement sent to the Inquirer.

GMA 7 added that “it has not authorized any referrals (to Icons Management) and that concrete actions have already been taken to address the issue.”

The statement also said that Lahbati’s decision to go on leave “despite the network’s disapproval, is a violation of her contract… Her declared trip to Switzerland for an indefinite period, without the prior consent and approval of the network, will be an additional violation of her contract.”

On Jan. 2, Lahbati posted on Twitter that “because of all of this uncertainty and stress, my family and I decided that I go back to Switzerland and study there… This does not mean that I will be gone from the industry and craft that I love… Just a breather from all the chaos.”

The GMA 7 statement also pointed to Lahbati’s decision not to appear on “Party Pilipinas,” where she is a regular performer, as a cessation “to honor her commitments with the network.”

The statement stressed that “under the provisions of her contract, specifically paragraphs 1.3 and 1.4, it is clearly stated that the artist shall perform the role and appear in the television programs, projects and events assigned to her, and conscientiously fulfill faithfully and promptly any and all engagements/booking contracted to her by GMA7.”

“In her tweets, Sarah is also asking to be released from her contract with the network. In the same way that a contract requires the mutual consent of the two parties, there cannot also be a unilateral cancellation of the contract by Sarah alone,” the statement said.

The Kapuso network pointed out that it has “invested heavily on Sarah, being a home-grown exclusive talent and considered as one of GMA’s priority stars. (It) will not simply allow her to walk away from her contract.”

The network also denied Sarah’s claim that it aired “a one sided story about what’s happening” on the Sunday talk show “Hot TV.”

“There was absolutely no truth to this,” said the statement. GMA7 claimed that the show, through its researcher Malou Santiago, contacted Sarah’s handler, Monica Carla Sevillano to get her statement. The show, however “did not receive any response from Sarah.”


Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • poltergeist_fuhrer

    worthless news

  • maypakialamako

    yung mga nag-aaway dito re abscbn vs tv5 vs gma, ang JOJOLOGS nyo! mga wala siguro kayong cable kaya nagtsatsaga kayo sa mga walang kwentang tv stations!

    • Cherrie

      jologs din kaya yung mga nag-aaksaya ng time sa mga nag-aaway na mga jologs. hehe!


    nah maniwala kau sarah lahi ng mga moroccan mga sinungaling yan cla..


    Lakas loob magsinungaling kasi bf nya c Richard kala nya mapaikot nya ang mga tao. MOROCCAN BLOOD mga sinungaling yan. Ganyan tlga matapos pasikatin lalaki na ang ulo saka mga f****** moron mga tamad yan kaya nag walk out..

  • Cherrie

    Ano ba ang nangyayari kay Sarah Lahbati? Nasabit lang kay Annabel Rama, naging nega na! Not good! Nag-ko-complain siya regarding another management to co-manage her career, yet she signed up with Annabel Rama. Halatang humahanap ka lang ng butas sa GMA, hija! Very negative ang dating sa mga Pinoy ng taong hindi marunong tumanaw ng utang na loob. You should be grateful to people who gave you opportunities, and we were witnesses sa maraming projects na naibigay sa iyo ng GMA. Whether flawed or not ang system ng GMA, they were the ones who made you. Kung gusto mong kumalas sa GMA, do it properly, else, mag-goodbye ka na sa showbiz.

  • Nite Alchemy

    KAYO MAN ang kaltasan ng 25% ng Talent Center plus 15% galing sa corrupt na anak ni Felipe Gozon na si Annette Gozon, dagdagan mo pa ng 32% na sisingilin sayo ng BIR, EWAN KO NA LANG KUNG DI KA MAG WALK OUT.

    KAPAL ng mukha ni Annette Gozon, nakiki-kumisyon sa mga nagsisimulang mag-artista gagawin lang ALILA, dugo’t buhay  ibibigay nila ng wala ka namang kinikita.


    Kakahiya si Annette Gozon to engage in an UNETHICAL business practice. Malamang hindi alam ng tatay mo yan, sisirain mo pa pangalan ng tatay mo.

  • Allan

    it’s about time congress look into this kind of exploitation. a daughter of supposedly the owner of the network undermining the network’s talent agency? that’s what you call greed, plain and simple. felipe gozon must know about this because the guy is operates hands-on. they (he and daughter) see an opportunity and strike at it. alam na hindi makakatanggi ang mga talent kahit anong pang-abuso ang gawin nila. 

  • M C

    From the operative phrase “conscientiously fulfill faithfully and promptly any and all engagements/booking contracted to her”, how do you define “conscientiously”, “faithfully” and “promptly”?  Surely, any judge will find difficulty to determine the level of performance viz-a-viz these adjectives which are by themselves subjective. What can be “conscientious” for one can be viewed otherwise by another.  Another thing, the whole phrase especially with the use of the phrase “any and all engagements/booking contracted to her” leaves any artist no leeway to reject any project that an artist may find contrary to her morals or religion and the whole sentence can even be interpreted as a subtle form of enslavement which makes the whole contract with Ms. Sarah null and void, ab initio.  In fact, being a movie producer before, I should know that the term “booking” has even a very derogatory meaning. Whoever penned that contract should be given more lessons in statutory construction.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos