Disgruntled Survivor contestant Stacey Stillman is looking to depose CBS TV President and CEO Les Moonves and a handful of others in her ongoing litigation against the network and the reality show's producers.
Stillman, who filed suit last February alleging Survivor producer Mark Burnett influenced other contestants to vote her off, also wants Burnett and the show's host, Jeff Probst, to meet with her attorneys. CBS VP of communications Chris Ender and a pair of Survivor producers have also been requested.
On Friday, CBS attorneys say they received the requests from Stillman's lawyers only after hearing about it in the press first. "I'm bemused by Stillman's consistent efforts to create a publicity campaign out of this litigation," says lead CBS attorney Andy White. "There is nothing unusual about this. To make this a press event is mind-boggling. I don't know what their objective was, but they apparently prepared a press barrage without even sending us a letter."
White says the letter from Stillman's attorney, John Denove, was dated Aug. 9 but postmarked Aug. 16. Denove says "there is no conspiracy" taking place, only normal litigation procedures. They are going to take our clients' deposition and we're going to take their clients deposition as well. That's it."
As for scheduling the depositions, White says that won't be a problem. "I told their lawyers previously that we would work out dates on anybody they needed. It's not a press event. People get deposed every day. And Les Moonves has appeared for more depositions and more lawsuits than I care to think about. This is routine." White contends CBS and Burnett's SEG studio have done nothing wrong. "Ultimately, we'll have to present this to a jury, which we are looking forward to." - Joe Schlosser