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Jeremy Piven Wins Arbitration

Jeremy_piven Huh.  I never saw this one going this way.

A professional arbiter has ruled Jeremy Piven did not breach his contract with the Broadway producers of "Speed-the-Plow" when the actor abruptly left the revival of the play last December. At the time, Piven's doctor said he was suffering from mercury poisoning after eating too much fish.  Piven claimed at the time he ate sushi every day.  He became the butt of many jokes.

Guess he got the last laugh.

"I feel like all you can ask for in this life is to have your day in court and I had that," Piven said in a telephone interview. "The facts were presented and it has been a really long journey for me. I am really happy that we can all move on and that all of the facts, and the medical facts, were heard. That the truth prevailed."

The "Speed-the-Plow" producers, meanwhile, expressed disappointment, saying that while they respect the decision, "we strongly disagree with it. 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."

Piven said there have been misunderstandings about what happened to him explained. The mercury in his system "brought me to my knees," he said, forcing him to rest.  "I was completely exhausted and by the time I ended up in the hospital ... I had arrhythmia (abnormal heartbeat) and the doctor said, 'Your body is definitely trying to catch up and it won't let you - and you need to take care of yourself.'"

"I was pretty crippled from the first week of rehearsal on," the actor continued. "Everyone that was involved in the process knows this. And that's the truth that came out.  To have worked your entire life and then to have that work ethic be questioned was an interesting turn for me," he said.

The National Fisheries Institute, a trade association representing the seafood industry, issued a statement Thursday noting "that no peer reviewed medical journal has ever published any evidence of a case of methylmercury poisoning caused by the normal consumption of commercial seafood in the U.S. This ruling does not change that simple scientific fact."


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