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Mark Burnett: Tribal Traitor?

7/7/2008 10:19 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Mark Burnett, the mastermind behind "Survivor" and "The Apprentice," has been sued by his former business partner for allegedly screwing him out of a massive amount of profit.

Conrad Riggs claims he helped turn Mark Burnett into MARK BURNETT by managing his business and negotiating insane studio deals. In addition, Riggs claims he "encouraged Burnett to pitch 'Survivor' as if he were telling a story around a campfire -- in a way that would allow network executives to visualize the feel and attraction of the show." Riggs thinks that move helped Burnett sell the show.

In a lawsuit filed today in L.A. County Superior Court, Riggs claims he was promised 10% of the profits from Burnett and Co. but eventually got stiffed to the tune of more than $5 million and ultimately squeezed out of the company in April.

Riggs claims Burnett promised the 10% cut and certainly has the means to pay. The lawsuit estimates Burnett's worth at more than half a bil.

We placed several calls to Burnett for comment. So far, no luck.

19 COMMENTS

No Avatar
16.

OCD    



"Business" as usual.

2261 days ago
17.

J    

First of all this wasn't an original idea from either Mark or Conrad. This show was already successful in Sweden long before they thought of it. They purchased the rights to it and pitched it here because no one new of it. Mark is a hack, I know this on a personal level. Conrad is deserving of his compensation. He did all the leg work. I'll leave it at that.

2261 days ago
18.

babzilla    

Mark Burnett didn't "steal" the idea for Survivor (duh)
Charlie Parson's (who is British not Swedish) gets a credit every week and a fat check!! Plus, Survivor is nothing like Expedition Robinson... just the same "idea" (but it is produced poorly and Mark made it better!)
If Conrad Rigg's claims are real then he deserves to be paid!

2261 days ago
19.

Mntneer    

Worked with Conrad in his pre-Survivor days and he's a good guy, can't imagine him making this up.

2260 days ago
Previous 15 Comments | 1 | 2

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