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'Leave It to Beaver' actor sues SAG

September 19, 2007|Richard Verrier | Times Staff Writer

"Leave It to Beaver" star Ken Osmond is suing the Screen Actors Guild, alleging the union withheld so-called foreign levy funds from him and other actors.

The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Tuesday, states that SAG failed to inform Osmond and other actors that it had accumulated more than $8.1 million in foreign levies since 1996. The union distributed only about $250,000 of the money, according to the suit.

Foreign governments apply levies on the sale of blank videotapes, cable transmissions and video rentals to compensate performers for the reuse of their work. The funds are sent to Hollywood guilds from various foreign collection societies.

The suit says SAG "stonewalled Osmond's efforts to seek information about SAG's practices with the respect to the collection and retention of foreign levies."

SAG officials declined to comment, saying they had not seen the lawsuit. Guild officials have previously blamed delays on incomplete information from collection societies and touted a new computer system to speed delivery of the funds.

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richard.verrier@latimes.com

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