Jeremy Piven wins Plow dispute

Aug 28, 2009 at 12:17 a.m. ET

Jeremy Piven's mercury poisoning excuse was found legit by an arbitrator in the face of complaints by Speed-the-Plow producers.

Jeremy Piven Plows through his Mercury suitPiven abruptly left the cast of the Broadway play Speed-the-Plow in December 2008, leaving the entire production the the lurch. Piven blamed his abandonment on medical issues, namely that he was suffering from mercury poisoning which left him exhausted and disoriented.

Show producers filed a formal grievance with Actors' Equity Association, a stage actors union. A statement by the group said Piven "did not breach his individual employment contract nor did he breach the Equity-League collective bargaining contract."

Jeremy Piven, who stars in HBO's Entourage and has a reputation for being quite the diva, said he feels vindicated by the decision. "All we can ask for is our day in court," he said. "I was lucky enough to get it, and the truth prevailed. It's a beautiful thing."

The producers of Speed-the-Plow are not as pleased. "While we respect the decision, we strongly disagree with it," they said. "We remain eternally grateful to everyone who helped make the wonderful production of Speed-the-Plow possible, especially the artists who created it, and the many who had to deal with very difficult and trying circumstances."

Wonder if Piven celebrated with a sushi dinner like the one he was seen eating weeks after the dispute began?

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