Weinsteins Hit With $50 Million Lawsuit

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March 3, 2011 | 7:40am EST

Hollywood moguls Bob and Harvey Weinstein have been accused of sabotaging a failed movie in a new $50 million lawsuit – and paying its makers to keep the matter quiet ahead of this year’s Academy Awards.
Filmmaker Tony Leech and producer Brian Inerfeld are suing the Weinstein Company over claims their animated movie Escape From Planet Earth was “sabotaged… through a potent combination of hubris, incompetence, profligate spending, and contempt for contractual obligations”.

In the lawsuit, which was filed on Wednesday, the duo is also accused of paying the plaintiffs $500,000 to wait until after the Oscars on Sunday to take legal action.

The King’s Speech, which was distributed by the Weinsteins’ firm, ruled the ceremony after scooping four Oscars, including Best Picture.

According to the suit, the Weinsteins allege the $500,000 payment was extorted, which Leech and Inerfeld deny.

Lawyers for the Weinsteins have dismissed the case as “frivolous” and “slanderous”, claiming the filmmakers were “let go after they refused to make the picture which TWC wanted” and were paid more than $2 million in accordance with their contract.