November 27, 2012 7:57pm PT by THR Staff
'Survivor' Financial Consultant Sues Seeking $14 Million in Profits
Like the game itself, a long-running fight over millions of dollars in Survivor profits is taking a new and unexpected twist.
Layne Leslie Britton, who once served as a business affairs VP at NBC and CBS before becoming a financial consultant on the television project that ultimately became Survivor, filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court against Conrad Riggs and his Cloudbreak Entertainment. Britton claims Riggs, the former partner of Survivor creator Mark Burnett, who previously was involved in litigation over profits from the CBS franchise, cheated him out of at least $14 million.
Britton argues that he helped create the innovative financial structure that ended up making Burnett and Riggs very rich, including their participation in advertising revenue that CBS generated from the mega-hit show.
Riggs later parted ways with Burnett and sued his former partner in a nasty litigation that lasted years. The case settled in March but Britton claims that the Burnett litigation revealed that Riggs had spent part of his time with the company "scheming to appropriate an even larger share of Burnett's earnings to himself by not paying Britton his fair and agreed upon share of earnings that Burnett paid to Riggs — earnings that Riggs would not have made had it not been for the business advice and consultation services provided by Briton."
The complaint, filed by John Schaeffer and Randy Merritt at LA's Lathrop & Gage, alleges causes of action for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty.