LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A former publicist has sued the Hollywood Foreign Press Association with charges that it is corrupt, and runs a massive payola scheme.
The lawsuit claims that the 80 members of the HFPA accept money, vacations and gifts from entertainment companies in exchange for nominating their TV shows and movies for awards.READ MORE: Thousands Attend Procession Carrying Remains Of 20-Year-Old Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui, Killed In Kabul, To Riverside Mortuary
Former HFPA publicist Michael Russell claims the group owes him $2 million in lost salary and other damages in the lawsuit, which was first reported in the entertainment industry Web site “The Wrap.”
The lawsuit, posted online by thewrap.com, claims that Russell was fired after he told the HFPA that its defective business practices could jeopardize its lucrative contract with NBC television, estimated to be worth $26 million in 2012.READ MORE: Robert Durst, New York Real Estate Scion, Convicted Of 1st Degree Murder In Death Of Longtime Friend Susan Berman
The members of the HFPA are accused of “accepting money/per diem, lavish vacations, junket lodging, gifts and other perks each year provided by studios and producers in exchange for support or votes.”
Thewrap.com said the HFPA and NBC could not be reached for comment.MORE NEWS: Stars Show Out To Celebrate Emmy Nominations Ahead Of Big Show
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