Tyra Banks, host of the CW's America's Next Top Model
, has parted ways with her manager, Benny Medina.
In a joint statement, Medina said that although his company, Handprint Entertainment, will no longer be handling Banks' career, he is optimistic about the possibility of working with her on future projects.
"Tyra Banks is a highly regarded artist, entrepreneur and producer, and I respect her vision for developing her own bankable brand,” the joint statement says. “Tyra and Handprint Entertainment look forward to the opportunity to work together on existing or new ventures. This is a great thing for everyone involved."
A source at TelePictures, which syndicates Tyra Banks' talk show, told the New York Daily News
that the reason why the 33-year-old former supermodel fired Medina is because she had grown weary of his suggestions and demands.
"His perk list is bigger than hers. Everything from private jets and votive candles that the staff has to light before he gets to the set. He forgot who the star was," the source said.
However, a representative from Telepictures refuted the claims, and insists that Medina will continue to be involved in Tyra Banks' career.
"We have a good relationship with Benny, and we appreciate his contributions to the show. He will continue as an executive consultant on the show," the rep said.
Other reports are pointing the finger at Banks' new boyfriend, investment manager John Utendahl, but a friend close to Banks dismissed the speculations.
"John had nothing to do with this," the friend said.
Losing her manager has not proven detrimental to Banks' career. Her successful reality series, America's Next Top Model
, was recently renewed for at least six more cycles, while the third season of her talk show is slated to premiere on September 10.
The ninth cycle of America's Next Top Model
begins airing on September 19. Instead of the usual two-hour premiere episode, the network decided to cut the first episode down to one hour, filling the second hour with the series debut of Gossip Girl
-Lisa Claustro, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image Courtesy of the CW)