KUALA LUMPUR, March 8 — Harith Iskander has rejected the Laugh Factory’s allegation that he had claimed Datuk Seri Najib Razak was a silent partner in his commercial ventures.
Responding to a report that the company was counter-suing him after he filed a lawsuit against them over unpaid prize money, Harith described the allegation as laughable.
“After bringing a case against Laugh Factory to pay me US$70,000 (RM286,655) still owed to me for winning their competition ... and now according to this article Laugh Factory say that I claimed Najib Razak was a 'silent partner' in my business — a statement that is absolutely false and I will leave it to my legal team/the professionals to handle this.
“I don't know quite how to react but it caused everyone around me to burst out in laughter,” he wrote on Facebook.
He said he was simply a stage comedian seeking the payment of prize money for a competition he won.
In 2016, Harith won the Laugh Factory’s “World’s Funniest Person” competition that promised the winner a tour of the US comedy circuit and US$100,000.
In December 2018, he sued the company for US$70,000 he claimed was still owed to him.
According to the Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday, the Laugh Factory claimed in its countersuit that Harith stole its “trade secrets”.
Laugh Factory owner Jamie Masada alleged he had been approached by Harith with offers to franchise the operation here as well as in Singapore and Jakarta, Indonesia.
He further alleged the comedian claimed former prime minister Najib to be a “silent partner”.
Masada also asserted that the prize money was payable in tranches of US$10,000, with each tied to one of 10 mandatory visits to the US.