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Piven's Fish Line Doesn't Fly with Producers

1/16/2009 5:55 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

TMZ has learned Jeremy Piven's mercury-poisoning story isn't holding water with the producers of his show -- and they've filed an official grievance with Actors' Equity, the union that handles Broadway stars.

In a statement, one of the the show's producers, Jeffrey Richards, announced, "The producers of SPEED-THE-PLOW have officially filed a grievance with Actors' Equity re: Jeremy Piven's departure. A date for these proceedings is to be determined."

As we first reported, Piv ditched the show two months early, claiming he was suffering from a sushi-induced "mercury poisoning."

We know he was examined by another set of doctors for a second opinion. The results of that exam aren't yet known.

UPDATE -- Jeremy's rep tells TMZ, "The claims made by the producers of Speed-the-Plow are absurd and outrageous. Mr. Piven's serious medical condition has been well documented by multiple physicians. He withdrew from the play due to medical necessity on the advice of his doctors, after he was hospitalized and warned by his physicians that enforced rest was necessary in order to avoid serious medical problems, including a heart attack.

"His symptoms included extreme fatigue, spacial problems, difficulty remembering his lines, difficulty maintaining his balance, and an alarmingly low resting heart rate. Mr. Piven followed his doctors' advice, although his forced withdrawal from the show was an enormous personal disappointment since it was a life-long dream to perform on Broadway."


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Let's assume for a moment that Piven's story is BS. What was behind his desire to get out of doing the play in the first place? Is he just lazy? I thought most actors wanted to work and appreciated the exposure.

2070 days ago



2070 days ago


What is the story? So what?

2070 days ago

Who Caresss!!!    

Mercury poisoning?? Haha, that's a new one. He was with Lindsay Lohan.. explains why she wasn't in court and he wasn't doing the play. =)

2070 days ago


More like a case of ego poisoning!

2070 days ago

Al Jazeera    


Get over to Mori Sushi now and get me 10 30-piece dinners. Do it now, or I will rub fish oil all over you and tell your buddies you are moonlighting for the other side!!!

2070 days ago


#6 scout1 YOU NAILED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2070 days ago


Well one thing is for sure he will never get an opportunity like this again that real Broadway actors would kill for, the arrogance of this D-bag is really unbelievable, his costars must have hated him so much

2070 days ago


Sounds like he's been caught out to me. Proberly more like a case of "A Good Night/s Out", Alcohol Poisoning maybe?? Snap dude, not a good look especially when you were starting to climb the ladder of sucess in Hollywood.

2070 days ago


chum salmon..........

2070 days ago

Just call me trailer trash....    

what a loser~

2070 days ago


I don't know why people automatically doubt the story. What motive would he really have for pulling out of the show, anyway? He's been getting good reviews. There would be so many simpler ways to "fake" an illness - why would he choose something that is quantifiable?

He obviously had been having symptoms consistent with high mercury levels. If the diagnosis was correct, he was smart to drop down to a less stressful lifestyle now rather than later, when damage might be irreversible. If the diagnosis was incorrect - he still had symptoms that could be explained by a number of things, none of which are treated by continuing a strenuous work schedule. Rest now or pay later, basically. Sometimes such fatigue symptoms are never properly diagnosed even with years of trying. But if his urine mercury levels drop and he feels better within a few months, at least he knows what ailed him and how to avoid a relapse.

2070 days ago


The only person who thinks this stroy is interesting is Piven. What a worthless QUEEN.

2070 days ago


he probably screwed the key grip & got her pregnant

2070 days ago


I know Piven from Chicago -- where he is roundly hated (he and his fmaily) in the theater circle. He is a narcissistic punk along with his a#5hole buddy John Cusack. The only role he has EVER NAILED is Ari Gold....because he IS Ari Gold.

2070 days ago
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