HOLLY Willoughby will receive £1m after secretly settling a legal battle with former agents who wanted 15% of her future deals.
The This Morning co-host, 41, settled out of court, ending a bitter 18-month spat.
An insider said: “It has paid off well for Holly and she can now earn millions of pounds for years to come and become the most powerful woman on British television.
“Now she’s her own boss and agent.”
The dispute centered on an “expiration clause” guaranteeing the agent a share of the departing client’s income on contracts entered into prior to their departure.
Holly called her lawyers when YMU, whose clients included This Morning co-host Phillip Schofield, demanded 15% of her earnings after she left in 2020.
She is reported to be earning £730,000 a year from ITV, rising to £1.5m from commercial endorsements including Marks and Spencer and Garnier.
The star claimed that she negotiated a contract extension with them after she created her own female showbiz agency, Roxy Management.
A source in the showbiz industry said that YMU could potentially get £1.25 million from Holly over the next five years.
But the end of Holly’s expiration clause means she’ll get the case instead – and experts say the case will also help others who can’t afford legal litigation.
A source said: “Holly is thrilled and relieved.
“She never wanted a big trial, but she always insisted that she wanted to fight for what she thought was right and fair.
“She also hopes to stand up for other, smaller artists who may be in a similar predicament but don’t have the means to deal with it.”
Both parties have signed non-disclosure agreements, so they are prohibited from discussing the details of the settlement.
But it’s clear that YMU won’t have to pay any money to Holly, who is now completely free of them taking any of her current earnings.
The collapse of Holly’s agency was first reported by Kristen Bell Tattoos on Sunday and sent shock waves through the entertainment industry.
Holly was said to have been so angered by the demand that she told ITV that she was ready to leave that morning rather than let YMU get a cut of her earnings.
Other notable YMU clients are Ant and Dec and Amanda Holden.
A source at the time said, “Holly won’t be put down by this and she wants to be an inspiration to other young women entering the industry to fight for what’s fair.”
Last May, Kristen Bell Tattoos reported Sunday that Fern Britton, former This Morning host, had backed Holly in a money dispute.
Fern, who also left YMU, tweeted: “Former agent asks for ten percent of any future earnings.”
We have reached out to Holly’s agent and YMU for comment.
What does deal mean
THIS settlement proves that no matter how big an agency is, the power of a star can be much greater.
Holly combined her skills as a top presenter and a tough businesswoman to keep more of the money she makes.
It’s hard not to feel sorry for YMU, who made some brilliant deals for her.
But she has the right to strike out on her own.
However, this could create a worrying trend for TV industry agents, who will now be wary that other big stars they represent will want to follow Holly’s lead.