Jeremy Piven Is Getting Grief

The producers of David Mamet’s Broadway play Speed-the-Plow think there’s something fishy about Jeremy Piven’s excuse for bowing out of the early production and they’re taking action, the New York Times reports.

Piven, 43, who plays sleazy agent Ari Gold on the HBO series Entourage, quit the play in December, claiming that he had suffered mercury poisoning, perhaps from eating too much fish.

The play’s producers aren’t buying it, however, and have filed a grievance against Piven with the Actors’ Equity Association union on Friday.

It’s not clear whether the producers will seek financial compensation from Piven or some other type of redress. Jeffrey Richards, a lead producer of the play, released a statement yesterday stating that proceedings by the union are “to be determined.”

An insider tells the paper that the producers want the union to make an independent evaluation of the medical evidence to determine if his excuse holds water.

Piven’s spokeswoman, Samantha Mast, called the producers’ suspicions “absurd and outrageous” in her own statement on Friday. Mast maintains that Piven dropped out of the play due to “medical necessity on the advice of his doctors, after he was hospitalized.”

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