The principals of the production company behind “Duck Dynasty” have filed a $100 million lawsuit against ITV Studios, accusing its leaders of mounting an “outrageous campaign of intimidation and extortion” to depress the price ITV would pay to acquire the remaining 40% of Gurney Productions.
The suit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court follows ITV’s firing last month of Scott and Deirdre Gurney from their namesake company, which ITV acquired a majority interest in 2012. ITV has sued the couple, claiming they engaged in fraud and used company funds for personal expenses, among other allegations.
“The actions taken by ITV and its appointed board members are reprehensible,” Gurney attorney Michael Weinsten said. “My clients will not be intimated by their outrageous, strong-arm tactics to acquire my client’s interest in Gurney Productions at a massively discounted price. We will hold each of these defendants personally accountable for the many millions in economic damages to my clients, and damage to their good name and reputation.”
The suit cites ITV Studios executives Brent Montgomery, Andrew Garard and David McGraynor as defendants along with the company.
In a response, ITV released a statement saying that the filing “comes as no surprise as the Gurneys attempt to salvage their reputation.”
“ITV absolutely refutes all of the allegations in this claim as completely baseless and without merit. We will be vigorously pursuing the lawsuit we filed against Scott and Deirdre Gurney in December, following the termination of their employment, on the grounds of self-dealing, fraudulent concealment and breach of contract.”
Producer Craig Armstrong was named interim CEO of Gurney Productions after the Gurneys were ousted. ITV said hat he has “the full ground support of ITV America’s senior team.”
“It’s very much business as usual and our brilliant production team remains focused on making and delivering great shows,” ITV said in its statement.