Last December, Maker Studios founder and CEO Danny Zappin got into a very public and ugly dispute with the company's top talent, YouTuber Ray William Johnson. Then a few weeks ago, Zappin was shoved aside for new CEO Ynon Kreiz, who plans to reshape the company in part by building out more original series.
Now, according to Variety, Zappin, along with three others, are suing the company. Among the defendants listed in the suit are Kreiz, investor Mark Suster, producer Ben Donovan and his sister Lisa Donovan—who has been linked romantically to Zappin. Wow.
Maker executives were unavailable to comment. It's been a interesting few months for the company, which has received $36 million in funding from Time Warner. Recently, Web entrepreneur Jason Calacanis declared that Maker was prepping a YouTube competitor, according to VideoInk.
Zappin is suing Maker along with Scott Katz, Derek Jones and Will Watkin. In the suit, per Variety, Zappin and his co-plaintiffs claim that Maker's board deliberately diluted the company's common stock as part of an elaborate effort to oust Zappin, who wants both cash and the board's removal.
UPDATE: Maker has released a statement: “The lawsuit is without merit and the allegations are baseless. We regret that Danny is taking this step and involving the company he co-founded in litigation.”