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Thursday 29 September 2016

Harry Potter star Devon ordered to pay €260k to his former agent

Devon spent his money on women, cars, and drink
Devon spent his money on women, cars, and drink

An actor who played the role of an Irish schoolboy in the Harry Potter film series must pay €260,000 in commission fees due to his former agent, the High Court ruled.

Devon Murray, who the court heard earned more than €1m and spent money on drink, cars and girls, said after the case that he also spent it on horses and property "but the a**e fell out of that".

"It wasn't all women, cars and drink," he said.

He was "a completely naive child" when he entered the agreement with his former agent Neil Brooks, he said.

However, he said he would never trade his involvement in Harry Potter for the world.

He has found it very hard to get work since and he believes it may be due to the dispute with his former agent.

Mr Justice Michael Moriarty said in making the award against Mr Murray, who played the part of Seamus Finnigan in the films, and against his parents Fidelma and Michael, that he was sorry that things did not work out for Devon.

Devon's mother said afterwards she was disappointed with the judge's decision and while they would try to pay the money, she did not know how they would.

She also said she did not see how an agreement lasting one year could stretch into 10 years.

Conflict

The Murrays had been sued by Mr Brooks, who claimed he was owed €286,000 commission from Devon's work in eight Harry Potter films.

The Murrays had denied owing him the money and counter-claimed for €98,000 they said they had already paid him.

Mrs Murray had told the court she didn't want to give out to her son about his spending on drink, girls and cars because he was their only child.

Mr Justice Moriarty said it was not disputed the agreement between the Murrays and Mr Brooks proceeded to their mutual satisfaction until there was conflict about the way Mr Murray was receiving his film fees, through Mr Brooks rather than directly to him.

This was the start of a decline in their relationship which came to a head when Devon was photographed smoking on the set, when he was just 13, and which led to adverse criticism.

The parties were now "seriously at loggerheads" with the mother unhappy at what she saw as the superficial handling of fallout from the smoking incident by Mr Brooks.

The Murrays "felt gravely let down", the judge said, and believed they owed Mr Brooks nothing.

However, he considered Mr Brooks to be a caring person who had advanced Devon's career when he became aware of his talent.

In addition to the €260,000 fee, he also awarded costs against the Murrays.

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