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Sarah Lahbati, Richard Gutierrez to leave GMA?

Richard Gutierrez and Sarah Lahbati in 'Seduction'.

Only weeks before the release of their much-anticipated sexy drama film “Seduction”, real-life sweethearts Sarah Lahbati and Richard Gutierrez have separately announced plans to leave the GMA Network.

Sarah fired the first salvo with a series of tweets Wednesday by prefacing the not-so-good news by thanking her fans for their loyalty and support. The 19-year old Moroccan-Filipina actress who was born and raised in Switzerland then dropped the bombshell:

“I’m grateful to all of you but unfortunately you will be seeing less of me this year for reasons that are hard to explain through Twitter…

I’ve had misunderstandings with the people who are handling my career. I am still thankful to them for the efforts they have shown in the…

..past but now I feel neglected and my back is against the wall… Therefor I have to do something. Just to clarify this issue that’s…

been going around, I signed a contract with Royal Artist (Tita Annabelle Rama) as a co manager with GMA Artist Center because I needed…

“someone to protect & help my well being in this cut throat industry. Tita Annabelle only wants the best for me, with her years of experience

“and success in this industry I know that she’s the right person to help me. When my family made this decision ,we were already sure that…

“an artist tied up with GMA Artist Center such as myself can be co-managed by another talent company because I was offered by top management

“of GMA to sign a contract with ICONS management just a few months before i signed with Tita Annabelle. I didn’t sign with ICONS because…

“they wanted to deduct another 15% on top of the 25% that is being deducted by GMA Artist Center. We found that too steep of a deduction…

“for someone who just started such as myself. Because of all of this uncertainty and stress, my family and I decided that I go back…

“to Switzerland and study there … This does not mean that I will be gone from the industry and craft that I love… Just a breather…

“from all the chaos… Nakakalungkot na umabot pa sa ganito…

“But I’m also excited to study… I trust God’s plans for me…”

Best remembered for her title role in the GMA afternoon soap, “Kokak”, Sarah Lahbati was also Richard’s love interest in last year’s short-lived primetime teleserye “Makapiling Kang Muli”.  She also made headlines as a spokeswoman for breast cancer awareness.

Sarah – the Ultimate Female Survivor of GMA’s talent search “Starstruck V” in 2009 — is part of the cast of GMA’s historical drama, “Indio”, set to start airing this month.

GMA-7 issued a statement late Thursday in reply to Sarah’s tweets, calling her decision to leave for Switzerland “a violation of her contract” with the network.

On Thursday morning, it was Annabelle Rama’s turn to deliver her own breaking news in behalf of son Richard — who has no official Twitter account — with her own series of tweets.

“Ang sarap ng gising ko! I’m in cloud 9, can’t believe about the good news of 2013!

1) Little birdie told me last night that Richard will be a freelancer soon to make movies with other studios.

2) Yeahhhhhhh…..I’ve been longing for this day. Thank u Sto Niño for answered prayers.

3) Lahat ng hinihingi ko binibigay sa akin including my political career. I’m super blessed…

4) Lahat ng manghuhula sa buong cebu,puro positive ang sinabi maski di ko sila kilala.

5) My wish is to personally meet u para magpasalamat.

6) And i will work harder para di kayo mapahiya sa akin. Mabuhay ang team Rama”

Ruffa Gutierrez, sister of Richard and daughter of Annabelle, also retweeted one of the tweets each of her mother and Sarah’s.

The other studios that Rama was referring to may include Regal Films which has already produced “Seduction”, Viva Films which has successfully engineered the return of sexy films with last year’s “Rigodon” and Star Cinema, which has produced movies that yielded two consecutive Metro Manila Film Festival Best Actor awards for another GMA star, Dingdong Dantes.

Sarah has not indicated if she will still be in the country by the time “Seduction” opens on January 30.