Sydney-based artist manager Grant Thomas is suing Australian TV production company Screentime for A$750,000 ($555,000), claiming breach of contract and lost earnings.

Sydney-based artist manager Grant Thomas is suing Australian TV production company Screentime for A$750,000 ($555,000), claiming breach of contract and lost earnings.

The case, which this week went before the New South Wales District Court in Sydney, centers on all-female pop band Bardot.

Screentime had asked Thomas to manage Bardot, winners in 1999 of the first series of its "Popstars" reality TV program on the Channel Seven national network. Thomas, who has managed such acts as Crowded House and Alex Lloyd, claims he was entitled to 24% of Bardot's earnings for the three years he was contracted.

Bardot scored a No. 1 hit on the Australian singles chart in May 2000 with its debut "Poison" (WEA). The single achieved chart success in New Zealand and six Asian territories.

According to Screentime, however, Bardot grew disenchanted with Thomas and signed a letter in November 2000 asking for his dismissal. Thomas' services were dispensed with officially in August 2001. Bardot broke up in April 2002.

Counsel for Screentime, Anthony McGrath, this week claimed that Thomas had "failed as a manager," citing Thomas' tardiness in organizing a national tour and his failure to provide strategic plans and monthly reports. Thomas also ignored repeated requests to have the band perform during the Sydney Olympics and turned down a $35,000 ($26,000) modelling job for one of its members, according to Screentime.

In turn, Thomas' counsel Richard Cobden told the court Bardot turned down the chance to play at a New Year's Eve gig in Singapore in 2000 for a A$200,000 ($148,000) fee because they wanted to be with their boyfriends. He added that the band declined to go to East Timor for a televised performance before the Australian Defence Forces.

The case is expected to continue until Friday.