Mark Burnett countersues longtime associate

'Survivor' producer says he paid business partner

The producer of hit reality series "Survivor" and "The Apprentice" has countersued his longtime business partner.

Mark Burnett filed the lawsuit against Conrad Riggs on Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court. In the lawsuit, Burnett claims that he paid Riggs their agreed-upon 10% of net earnings on television projects.

But the lawsuit says $25 million in payments wasn't enough for Riggs. Riggs is trying to get paid "on projects for which his services were never requested and on which he rendered none," Burnett's lawsuit contends.

Riggs also has tried to get networks to pay him fees directly rather than to Mark Burnett Productions, according to Burnett's lawsuit.

Burnett is seeking unspecified damages and a ruling that Riggs has no right to any further payments.

The two met in the 1990s when Burnett was trying to pitch the "Survivor" concept and Riggs worked for Walt Disney Co. Together, the men were behind more than a dozen TV projects.

Riggs sued Burnett on July 7, claiming he is owed more than $70 million for his contributions to their joint efforts.

According to the Riggs' lawsuit, Burnett stopped paying his partner in February 2007 after Riggs refused to sign a three-page contract to formalize their long-standing verbal agreement. Riggs contends the terms in the contract differed from their "agreements and practices."

Burnett evicted Riggs from their offices this year.