The ‘Madam Secretary’ actor is facing a lawsuit as he reportedly refuses to hand over a video he filmed of the ‘Rocket Man’ hitmaker and husband David Furnish at an awards show.
AceShowbiz -“Madam Secretary” star Erich Bergen has been hit with a lawsuit over claims he’s holding a video of Elton John and David Furnish “hostage.”
The actor was paid $38,000 (£27,000) by MZA Events to film the singer and his husband accepting a lifetime achievement award – with the video intended to air as part of the AIDS Walk: Live at Home virtual telecast on Sunday (16May21).
However, according to court records obtained by the New York Post, Bergen is now refusing to hand over the video.
“It’s such a crucial piece to the program on Sunday, it’s the biggest fundraiser moment of the year. He’s jeopardizing millions of fundraising dollars when people are dealing with COVID this past year and the AIDS pandemic for the past 40 years,” an insider told the Page Six gossip column.
“He held this video footage hostage. When you look at the entire program in its entirety, there’s Eric Garcetti congratulating Elton and David, Ann Margret and George Takei, it’s strange when you don’t have Elton and David accepting the award.”
Bergen is accused of only sending a watermarked version of the video, despite the fact that he and MZA Events are said to have agreed that the company “owns the raw footage and the finished work product.”
“Mr. Bergen provided the video in an unusable format out of spite and for the purpose of antagonising MZA Events because MZA Events was unwilling to accommodate Mr. Bergen’s ‘my way or the highway’ approach to producing the video,” lawyers for MZA wrote in their complaint.
Bergen is now apparently refusing to hand over the unwatermarked video, putting the entire broadcast in jeopardy.
“Mr. Bergen has acted in bad faith. He has not taken these issues seriously, for example, responding by writing ‘LOL!’ when MZA Events raised its concerns about the harm that he is causing to its charitable partners,” the records continued.
“He otherwise has gone silent, refusing to provide a usable copy of the video or otherwise act appropriately and professionally.”
A representative for Bergen told Page Six that they only learned of the lawsuit on Wednesday (12May21), adding, “There was never any contract between Mr. Bergen and MZA Events so we are not sure why they even filed this suit.”
“Any suggestion of this is simply a lie. We hope to resolve this but since this is now being litigated we are not making any further comments.”
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