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Tiger Woods withdraws from All-Star Cafe

Tiger Woods and three other sports stars are suing Planet Hollywood, accusing the embattled theme restaurant chain of breaching endorsement contracts during its recent bankruptcy proceedings.

Representatives of Woods, NFL Hall of Famer Joe Montana, and pro tennis players Andre Agassi and Monica Seles filed the lawsuit Friday in U.S. District Court in Wilmington, Del., where the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The athletes want Orlando, Fla.-based Planet Hollywood to remove their names, images, and memorabilia from its sports-themed All Star Cafe restaurants, and pay unspecified damages and legal costs.

Richard A. Chesley, a Chicago attorney representing the athletes, said a judge terminated their contracts with Planet Hollywood last month.

Planet Hollywood currently owns only three All Star Cafes, having sold, franchised or closed nine others to concentrate on its Planet Hollywood chain, said Planet Hollywood spokeswoman Patty Caruso.

A decision on the athletes' request for damages will come at a later hearing, Chesley added.

The lawsuit says that in the four athletes' signed contracts to receive compensation, including shares of stock, in exchange for their promotion of the Official All Star Cafe.

But it claims the contracts were broken during bankruptcy proceedings last year when the company announced plans to dispose of several of its Official All Star Cafe locations.

The athletes are represented by Cleveland-based International Management Group.

Two other sports superstars -- Shaquille O'Neal and Wayne Gretzky -- also were partners and promoters of the All Star Cafes. O'Neal has stayed with Planet Hollywood, while Gretzky and the company have parted, a company spokesman said.

 

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