FIRST READ ON PEP: GMA-7 deems Sarah Lahbati’s decision to leave for Switzerland as "violation of her contract"

Sarah Lahbati greeted 2013 with a series of tweets revealing that, “I’ve had misunderstandings with the people who are handling my career," and announcing her decision to go back to Switzerland to study."


A hurdle might keep Sarah Lahbati from leaving the country.

In response to her tweets last January 2, GMA-7 issued a statement indicating that the young actress is "currently under investigation and the network is still studying on what actions to take."

It can be recalled that her posts on Twitter via @sarahlahbati revealed three things:

1) "I signed a contract with Royal Artist (Tita Annabelle Rama) as a co manager with GMA Artist Center..."

2) “I didn’t sign with ICONS because they wanted to deduct another 15% on top of the 25% that is being deducted by GMA Artist Center..."

3) “Because of all of this uncertainty and stress, my family and I decided that I go back to Switzerland and study there :("

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Her last tweet was deemed by GMA-7 as "violation of her contract."

In the statement sent by Angel Javier, assistant vice president of the network’s corporate communications department, a portion underlined that Sarah "has to perform and appear in programs and events assigned to her, and make herself available to faithfully and promptly fulfill all engagements contracted for her by GMA."

In addition, the female winner of StarStruck batch 5 also has to "address the issue of her walking out during taping, which caused the production team to pack-up, and incur an additional cost of 500k."

To date, she has two pending projects— Indio, a series topbilled by Bong Revilla; and Seduction, a film that will also star her boyfriend Richard Gutierrez and Solenn Heussaff.

Still according to GMA-7’s statement, Sarah already asked for a one-month leave of absence last December.

Her reason, "to de-stress and unwind," was not approved by the management because of her "pending obligations."

Here’s the full statement sent via email at 10:07, January 3 (published as is):

"Last December, Sarah Lahbati unilaterally decided to take a leave of absence of one (1) month from GMA Network, because she said she wanted to de-stress and unwind. Because her reasons were vague, they were not accepted by management. While we understand that work in our industry can be stressful (as in any business), we believe that this is not only unavoidable in most cases, but also a part of what one does as a professional and/or performing artist.

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"Her leave of absence was also disapproved by management because of her pending obligations (i.e. Party Pilipinas, on-going promos and other endorsement commitments). However, on the evening of Jan 2, she tweeted that she will be going to Switzerland to study, despite the disapproval given to her last December on taking a leave. This is in violation of her contract, because she has to perform and appear in programs and events assigned to her, and make herself available to faithfully and promptly fulfill all engagements contracted for her by GMA.

"At the same time, she has yet to address the issue of her walking out during taping, which caused the production team to pack-up, and incur an additional cost of 500k. She is therefore, currently under investigation and the network is still studying on what actions to take."


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