Omar Amanat has won an undisclosed settlement against four British publications who called the Summit Entertainment investor “an impostor.”
Amanat was one of the “Twilight” studio’s early backers. In a series of articles in November 2010, several U.K. papers and magazine such as OK Magazine, New! Magazine and the Daily Express reported that Amanat crashed the premiere of “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” and misrepresented his relationship with Summit.
After Amanat sued them for libel, those papers were forced to issue apologies on their websites this week.
“We are now informed that Mr. Amanat not only controls approximately twenty per cent of a company that forms the largest shareholder in Summit Entertainment LLC, but additionally provided or otherwise introduced fifty per cent of the equity in that company,” the apology reads. “He is absolutely not a ‘Twilight Biz imposter,’ but the antithesis of that description.”
In addition, the publications have made donations to Human Rights Watch and Malaria No More and will pay the Amanat’s legal fees.
“I’m saddened that I even had to take this action, but I’m pleased with the outcome,” Amanat told TheWrap. “I was very quietly effective in a number of different companies and financial services. I prefer to remain behind the scenes, but when I was so publicly challenged, I had no other choice.”
Initially, Amanat was seeking 7.5 million pounds in damages, claiming that the hit to his reputation cost him multi-million-dollar entertainment deals, including a $4 million agreement to provide technological assistance to the British TV show “X-Factor.” It is not known if the settlement matches that amount.
Amanat’s true influence at Summit only came to light during the libel trial. Although he resigned from the studio’s board in 2008, he still controls 20 percent of Peak Group Holdings, the biggest shareholder in Summit, according to documents obtained by TheWrap.
According to the lawsuit and related ownership agreements, Amanat can block any decision by Summit’s board of directors through Peak Holdings’ designated board member.
The designate still requires his written consent to approve any mergers, acquisitions or major decisions that the studio decides to undertake, the documents said.
With the settlement behind him, Amanat said he is pleased with his investment in Summit. Summit rewarded Amanat and other investors handsomely last spring after it issued dividends following the studio’s $750 million refinancing.
“I am pleased with the progress at Summit, and I have a lot of interest in continuing to make media investments,” Amanat told TheWrap.
In addition to his work in Hollywood, Amanat is best known for having co-founded CyberTrader and Tradescape, which were sold to Charles Schwab and eTrade.