Mike Fleming

Protocol Pictures partners Tony Leech and Brian Inerfeld filed a 60-page legal claim today against The Weinstein Company in New York State Supreme Court. The $50 million suit is over their removal from the animated film Escape From Planet Earth, and it is a colorful document containing a litany of volatile charges ranging from the assertion that Harvey and Bob Weinstein were out of control, and tried to hush up the plaintiffs by giving them $500,000 to keep quiet the complaint until the Oscars were over. Most of these kinds of battles get settled in arbitration, but you can read the entire complaint here:

The Weinsteins, who are in a dispute with Michael Moore over profits he said he’s owed on Farhenheit 9/11, were quick to hit back in the stereo effect of two high-powered attorneys. Said Bert Fields of Greenberg, Glusker, Fields, Claman & Machtinger LLP: “This is a completely frivolous lawsuit.  The pleading contains little more than false, gratuitous, slanderous, preposterous and totally irrelevant personal attacks on TWC and its principals.  Plaintiffs were let go after they refused to make the picture which TWC wanted.  They were paid in excess of $2,000,000 which is what was called for by their contract.  They then threatened to “go public” with false assertions about TWC’s principals unless they were paid money to which they were not entitled.  Their conduct has been unethical and reprehensible.  I can’t wait to get them under oath.”

Added David Boies of Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP: “This is an irresponsible and baseless lawsuit filed as part of an attempt to extort millions of dollars from Harvey Weinstein and the Weinstein Company.  Plaintiffs and their counsel threatened to attack Mr. Weinstein and the Weinstein Company publicly unless paid $5 million, an amount that bore no relationship to any possible amount in dispute.  When their demands were refused, this lawsuit and their accompanying press campaign resulted.  Plaintiffs and their counsel should be ashamed of themselves.”

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