Piven Off the Hook for Broadway Bow-Out

Jeremy's sushi excuse works in "Speed the Plow" case

By Michael Clancy
|  Friday, Aug 28, 2009  |  Updated 5:57 AM PDT
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Piven Off the Hook for Broadway Bow-Out

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Do you smell sushi, Jeremy?

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At least one person believed Jeremy Piven's fish tale.

A professional arbiter has ruled Piven did not his breach his contract with the Broadway producers of "Speed-the-Plow" when the actor abruptly left the revival of the David Mamet play last December.

At the time, Piven's doctor said Piven was suffering from mercury poisoning after eating too much fish.

"He's been eating sushi twice a day for years," said Dr. Carlon Colker told the New York Post. "He's a voracious sushi eater. I tested him, and he's got a shocking level of almost six times the upper limit of what's allowable," he said, referring to Piven's mercury levels.

Piven says in a statement that he's pleased with the outcome and says he's been vindicated. The producers, meanwhile, expressed disappointment. They says they respect the decision, but strongly disagree with it.

Shortly after Piven left the play in December, Mamet quipped that it was his understanding that the Emmy-winning, mercury-weakened actor most famous for his portrayal of agent Ari Gold on "Entourage"  had decided to pursue a career "as a thermometer."

But Piven stuck to his story and said his mercury poisoning was all too real.

“It completely shuts you down. It feels like the heaviest bout of mono you’ve ever had in your life. You’re kind of crippled from it,” Piven told "Access Hollywood" in January. “I fought the good fight, my doctors propped me up and then doctor’s orders was enforced rest."
 

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