Inside Scoop

Jeremy Piven's Browadway Showdown

The best drama in New York theater took place offstage. The New York Times obtained a previously confidential arbitrator's report on the case of Jeremy Piven's mercury poisoning and his bolt from a David Mamet revival of Speed-the-Plow. The nasty squabble arose after Piven quit the show citing health concerns. According to Piven's side of the story, he was diagnosed with the Epstein-Barr virus and mercury toxicity driven by his vast consumption of sushi. He said he went to doctors "constantly" for treatment, and felt the play's producers met him "with disregard, disbelief, and disdain." The producers thought he was a hard-partying night owl who was shirking his duties, attending cocktail parties by Entourage designers and Britney Spears' birthday party when he was supposed to be in bed resting. They sent snarky emails to each other. And although the producers were never able to have their own doctor examine him, to confirm his story, the arbitrator ultimately came down on Piven's side.