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Arbitration is set in Piven case

March 26, 2009|Associated Press

The dispute between the Broadway producers of "Speed-the-Plow" and Jeremy Piven is officially on to its next act -- arbitration.

In a statement, the show's producers said Wednesday that the case would be heard June 8 and 9 in New York by George Nicolau, a professional arbiter. It follows a grievance hearing held last month at Actors' Equity Assn. in which a committee composed of five Equity members and five members of the Broadway League, which represents the producers, did not resolve the dispute.

Piven abruptly left the revival of the David Mamet play in December after his doctor said he was suffering from mercury poisoning after eating too much fish over a lengthy period of time.

In response, Piven spokeswoman Samantha Mast, said in a statement that the actor was looking forward to testifying at the arbitration.

"The fact that the producers issued a statement announcing the arbitration dates suggests that this is part of a punitive strategy to intimidate actors so that they ignore serious health symptoms and the advice of medical professionals due to fear that they will be sued," she said.

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