HOLLY Willoughby will pocket £1million after secretly settling a legal battle with former agents who wanted 15 per cent of her future deals.
The This Morning co-host, 41, settled out of court, ending a bitter 18-month fight.
An insider said: “This has paid off handsomely for Holly and she’s now free to earn millions of pounds for years to come and become the most powerful woman in British TV.
“She is now very much her own boss and agent.”
The row centred on a “sunset clause”, guaranteeing an agent a share of a departing client’s income on contracts arranged before their exit.
Holly called in lawyers when the YMU agency, whose clients include her This Morning co-host Phillip Schofield, demanded 15 per cent of her earnings after she left in 2020.
READ MORE HOLLY WILLOUGHBY
She reportedly rakes in £730,000 a year from ITV, extending to £1.5million with commercial endorsements, including Marks and Spencer and Garnier.
The star argued she negotiated renewed contracts with them after setting up her own all-female showbiz agency, Roxy Management.
A showbiz industry source said YMU would potentially have got £1.25million from Holly over the next five years.
But the ending of Holly’s sunset clause means that will go to her instead — and experts say the case will also help others who cannot afford a legal fight.
Most read in The Scottish Sun
A source said: “Holly is thrilled and extremely relieved.
“She never wanted a big court showdown, but always insisted she wanted to fight for what she believed to be right and fair.
“She also hopes to have stood up for other, smaller artists who may be in a similar predicament but without the means to fight it.”
Both parties have signed non-disclosure agreements so are forbidden from discussing details of the settlement.
But it is understood YMU will not have to pay any money to Holly, who is now completely free of them taking any of her ongoing earnings.
Holly’s agency bust-up was first revealed by The Sun on Sunday — and sent shockwaves through the showbiz industry.
Holly was said to be so angry at the demand she told ITV she was prepared to quit This Morning rather than let YMU take a cut of her earnings.
YMU’s other top celebrity clients include Ant and Dec and Amanda Holden.
A source at the time said: “Holly won’t be beaten by this, and wants to be an inspiration to other young women starting out in the industry to fight for what is fair.”
In May last year The Sun on Sunday revealed Fern Britton, a former This Morning presenter, had thrown her support behind Holly in the cash row.
Read More on The Sun
Fern, who also left YMU, tweeted: “An ex-agent is asking for ten per cent of any future earnings.”
We approached both Holly’s agent and YMU for comment.
What the deal means
By Cristo Foufas
THIS settlement proves that, no matter how big the agency, star power can be far bigger.
Holly’s combined her skills as a top presenter and a tough businesswoman to ensure she’ll keep more of the cash she earns.
It’s difficult not to feel a little sorry for YMU which negotiated some brilliant deals for her.
But she’s entitled to strike out on her own.
However, this may set a worrying trend for televison industry agents who’ll now fear other big stars they represent will want to follow Holly’s lead.
Holly’s former agents would have taken more than £1 million of her future earnings[/caption]