As so many stories wind down for the holidays, it's comforting to know that the new developments in Jeremy Piven's Sushigate scandal are even more delicious than the soft shell crab roll at Matsuhisa.
First, the New York Post caught up with Piven's "visibly angry" Speed-the-Plow costar, Raul Esparza, "We have not heard from him. We do not know where he is. It's very disappointing when your co-star leaves." Esparza made his level of disappointment clear in the curtain call following yesterday's matinee, says Fox News:
According to those who saw this, Esparza — famous for being outspoken — reamed Piven while [costar Elisabeth] Moss, my sources say, “sobbed.”
“’He said, I’m sure you’ve read the headlines about the silliness in our show.’ Then he said, Today was the first time I really enjoyed playing this show.’ I hope you weren’t expecting a big TV star.” It was pretty emotional.”
So how does Piven combat the actors, playwrights, and investors ("We didn't have star insurance, but we should have had asshole insurance") who have allied against him? With the unbeatable trump card that is a testimonial from Fisher Stevens:
"I believe him. His numbers are off the charts," Stevens, who suffered from mercury poisoning this year, told Page Six. Stevens says that while he was producing his upcoming Sundance entry, "The Cove," a documentary about the slaughter of mercury-loaded dolphins in the Far East, he ate fish four or five times a week. "I started feeling really sluggish and had no energy. It turns out the larger the fish, the higher the levels. I only eat small fish now."
Sadly, this unexpected endorsement found no quarter among Piven's ditched colleagues, who point out that his "mercury poisoning" didn't inhibit his well-documented late-night partying. Also fishy? Piven told friends visiting him that he was "bored out of his mind," and he attempted to line up his friend Steven Weber to replace him. Investors clearly weren't convinced of Weber's star power, preferring instead to conserve it for a touring production that would reteam the Wings star with his former NBC crew (eventually culminating in a terrible curtain call in Iowa City where Tim Daly would denounce Weber as Crystal Bernard buried her Maybelline-streaked face in her hands, weeping, "I never should have done this without Shalhoub!").
[Photo Credit: AP]