In a lawsuit filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, filmmaker Michael Moore alleges that Bob and Harvey Weinstein cheated him out of millions of dollars from profits of the documentary Fahrenheit 9/11
In the $2.7-million suitm Moore claims he delivered an award-winning film that achieved major box office success, and that The Fellowship Adventure Group' (TFAG) -- the Weinstein's company -- has failed and refused to share equally he fruits of the venture as the partners had agreed.
Moore's responsibilities included writing, directing and producing the documentary, while the Weinsteins would finance and distribute it. All profits were to be shared equally.
Moore's lawyers claim the Weinsteins hid the amount they owed to Moore and that this case is about classic Hollywood accounting tricks and financial deception perpetrated by [TFAG] and its owners, Harvey and Bob Weinstein.
Moore claims that the Weinsteins and TFAG, however, breached their fiduciary duties and obligations by failing to pay Moore his share by using bogus accounting methods to hide the true amounts due.
The filmmaker, known for his notable and sometimes controversial documentaries such as 'Bowling for Columbine,' 'Sicko,' and 'Roger & Me,' first uncovered the deception around November 2008 through an audit he commissioned.
According to the suit the audit revealed highly irregular accounting practices including, among other things, charges to the production for the cost of private jets to fly one of the Weinsteins and his assistant to Europe.
Bert Fields, the Weinsteins' lawyer, said to The Wrap, Mr. Moore has been paid many, many, many millions of dollars on this film. He has received every dime to which he is entitled. His lawsuit is a cheap shot designed for the media, and considering the timing, I really wonder who put him up to it.
Fields questioned the timing since the Weinsteins' latest film, The King's Speech, is nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture.
Moore's lawyer, Larry Stein, in return is quoted in the The Wrap saying this is the first time Michael Moore has ever sued anyone in his 20-year career as a filmmaker. That should be some indication about how serious this is.
Since it's 2004 release Fahrenheit 9/11 has made about $222 million, making it the highest-grossing documentary ever. The movie takes a cutting look at President George W Bush's first term in office, the war on terrorism and media's coverage of it.