Simon Fuller, American Idol creator/executive
producer, has filed suit in Los Angeles SuperiorCourt against Fox and
FremantleMedia over their new series The X Factor.
The breach of contract complaint argues that the network
and production company have refused to honor a 2005 agreement that stated
Fuller would receive an executive producer credit and fees on the U.S version
of X Factor, set to premiere this fall.
According to a copy of the lawsuit, the dispute stems
from a 2004 suit filed in England by Fuller over similaritiesbetween his Pop Idol and Simon Cowell's X Factor formats. In 2005, Fox
and Fremantle brokered a settlement, according to the filing, promising Fuller
the EP credit and associated fee on the American X Factor in exchange
for dropping the lawsuit.
"Today Simon Fuller filed a legal complaint against
Fox Broadcasting Company and Freemantle in the State of California over their
refusal to honor a 2005 contract that granted Mr. Fuller an executive producer
credit and fees on the X Factor television program in the U.S.," said a
Fuller spokesperson in a statement. "Mr. Fuller has prudently attempted to
settle this matter privately but the other parties have refused to honor the
original contract leaving him no other choice but to pursue legal action."
Fox and Fremantle dismissed the case as without merit in
a joint statement issued Wednesday.
"Mr. Fuller has not been hired, nor performed any duties,
on the U.S. version of The X Factor," the companies said. "His suit
seeks payment and credit as an executive producer despite his neither having
been approved by the required parties, nor hired, as such. We believe this
lawsuit is without merit and we expect to prevail."