Michael Buckner/Getty
Oliver Jones
March 25, 2009 04:15 PM

This summer we may finally solve the enduring Broadway mystery: Did the fish do it?

On June 6th and 7th, an arbitrator will hear the dispute between both Actors’ Equity, the producers of the Broadway revival of David Mamet’s Speed-the-Plow and the production’s one-time star, Emmy winning actor Jeremy Piven.

The Entourage star, 43, abruptly left the show in December – 10 weeks early – complaining of fatigue caused by toxic mercury in his system from eating fish. At the time, his doctor claimed that he had mercury levels that were six times higher than an allowable level.

To prepare for the arbitration, the producers have requested that Piven turn over a wide range of information, including his medical records and “documentation of Mr. Piven’s activities both during and after the run of the show,” according a statement released Wednesday by the producers.

In a statement released Wednesday, a rep for the actor responded to the continued arbitration by saying that Piven had “repeatedly offered to turn over his medical records to the Producers subject to an appropriate confidentiality agreement Mr. Piven had also repeatedly offered to be examined by a doctor designated by the Producers both before, during and after his hospitalization for toxic Mercury levels. The Producers never took him up on that offer.”

As for the planned arbitration, the statement says, “Mr. Piven is looking forward to testifying … along with his doctors so that the truth comes out about the very health serious risks caused by Mercury exposure, which the Obama administration has recently described as the world s gravest chemical problem.”

As a result of the incident, the actor became the butt of late night monologues and the subject of a classic bon mot by playwright Mamet, who said that the actor was leaving show business to “pursue a career as a thermometer.”

The producers have pledged that they are not asking for the information just to turn around and leak it to the press.

“The producers recognize that most of this information is of a highly sensitive nature,” the statement said. “Therefore, they have proposed to the Union that all of the information that is turned over be subject to a strict confidentiality agreement.”

You May Like