Barbara ‘Babs’ Costello Being Sued For Not Paying Talent Agency


TikTok star Barbara “Babs” Costello, otherwise known as the “internet mom/grandma you didn’t know you needed,” is being sued by her former talent manager claiming she didn’t pay them after they helped her make hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Underscore Talent Management is seeking to enforce its agreement with Costello and hold her accountable for alleged “devious business practices.”

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Barbara ‘Babs’ Costello Is Being Sued By Talent Management Agency

TikTok | Brunch with Babs

Court documents obtained by The Blast claim that Costello never held up her end of the bargain with her talent agency and stiffed them for what she owes. 

“At 75-years-old, Costello is the unlikely influencer, whose Brunch with Babs Instagram and TikTok accounts have attracted millions of followers,” the court document states. “The ‘Babs’ brand is built around the image the sweet grandmother who shares family recipes and cozy maternal advice. Behind the scenes, however, Costello does not hesitate to exploit people and then stab them in the back.” 

Costello got her start on social media in early 2020. On March 10, 2023, Megan Brown, a manager at Underscore, met with Costello and Liz Ariola, Costello’s daughter who manages her business affairs.

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During the meeting, the three discussed Underscore providing management services for Costello in exchange of 10% of gross receipts agreed upon. 

“Later that day, Brown sent to Ariola a copy of Underscore’s standard client agreement for her review and noted that the parties had discussed payment of a 10% commission rather than the 15% in the standard agreement,” the court document reveals.

“Ariola acknowledged receipt of the agreement and indicated her desire to move forward with Underscore as Costello’s manager, starting with book agreements.” 

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Underscore Suggested Barbara Costello Did Not Accept A Book Offer And Updated The Proposal

Barbara "Babs" Costello
Instagram | Brunch With Babs

A few days after meeting with Brown, Ariola sent her a copy of a $1.4 million publishing offer that Costello’s agents received. Brown advised Ariola that Costello shouldn’t accept the offer and should instead “shop Costello’s book through an auction.” 

Brown helped Costello update the proposal for her book and on June 9, 2023, Clarkson Potter made an offer for Costello’s book that she accepted. 

“To be clear, Clarkson Potter’s offer was significantly better than the offer previously made by DK that Costello was going to accept, but for Brown’s advice,” the court document states. “Thus, as a direct result of Brown’s advice, Costello made hundreds of thousands of dollars that she otherwise would not have made.”

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After the book deal closed, Brown continued to “advise and manage” Costello on behalf of Underscore. 

“Notwithstanding, when Underscore sent Costello an invoice on April 19, 2024, for $66,300 – the commission then owed to Underscore on the book deal – Costello failed and refused to pay,” according to the court document. “And when counsel for Underscore demanded payment by a certain date, Costello refused.” 

Underscore is seeking all monies owed to them, plus “all costs of suit incurred.” They are also demanding a “trial by jury.” 

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Barbara ‘Babs’ Costello Recently Celebrated Her Four-Year Anniversary As ‘Brunch With Babs’

On April 30, Babs celebrated the fourth anniversary of posting her first video as “Brunch with Babs.”

“Four years ago, I posted my first-ever video. And we have been learning and growing together ever since,” Costello said in her TikTok video.

“Over 1,000 videos later, I know I can’t believe it myself, we have cooked, cleaned, traveled, we went to boot camp together, we learned the only way to clean out a pumpkin, how to load a dishwasher properly, we got weeknight meals on the table, we’ve celebrated so many holidays together, from birthday to Christmas, and so many amazing life milestones.”

She concluded her celebration video by saying she’s looking forward to many more years of “Brunch with Babs.”

Many viewers dropped into the comments to congratulate Costello and tell her how much they’ve enjoyed her content.

“You have no idea how many people you’ve helped or impacted in the smallest but profound of ways!” one person shared. Another added, “You are such a treasure. Thank you for bringing us so much joy! (And incredibly useful information to make our lives better)!”

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Barbara Costello Was Part Of QVC’s Q50!

A few week ago, Costello traveled to Las Vegas as part of QVC’s Q50.

“I am so honored to have been asked to be part of the QVC Q50!!! The Q50 is a collective, comprised of 50 celebrities, activists, entrepreneurs, women leaders, artists, and QVC hosts that are all living their best lives in their second (50 and older),” her Instagram caption reads.

“It was truly inspiring to hear all the amazing accomplishments and stories of women who have also started their second act at the age of 50+. I am humbled to be included in this new initiative and look forward to sharing more with you throughout the year.”

Her caption continued to explain that at the age of 75, she attended her “first business conference” and walked her first “red carpet/press line.” She also talked about the people she met including Martha Stewart, Billie Jean King, and Bradley Cooper.

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Barbara Costello And Her Husband Recently Bought A House!

A few days after sharing her experience in Vegas with QVC, Costello revealed that she and her husband recently bought a new home that they’ll be renovating and sharing the process with her followers.

The house they purchased, The Basket House, was built in the 1830s and became a Basket Shop where baskets were woven and sold in 1850. The couple “fell in love with this home for the rich history,” the charm, and the setting.

“We can’t wait to make this home our own and a space to share with all of you. During our renovations, we intend to preserve all the historical elements: doors, hinges, knobs, beams, floor planks, and other artifacts,” she shared in her caption.

“We will keep all of the charm but will be improving the condition of the home so it can stand the test of time. It felt like it was meant to be and if I do say so myself, Babs Basket House has a nice ring to it.”

Costello’s followers are excited for what’s to come.

“Love love love this. It seems like you should have your own show on TV. You’re there Babs!” one person wrote in the comments. Another added, “This house is a charmer. Can’t wait to see what you do with it!”

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