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Gibson accuses ‘Professor…’ producer of film scam
Los Angeles, Sep 13 (IANS) Actor Mel Gibson’s attorneys have accused the producer of American-Irish drama film “The Professor and the Madman” of seeking to swindle Irelands tax authorities.
Gibson is engaged in a legal battle with producer Voltage Pictures over the film, which tells the dark origin story of the Oxford English Dictionary, reports variety.com.
The director, Farhad Safinia, first accused Voltage in July of trying to inflate expenses on the film, which would result in a larger tax rebate from the Irish government.
Gibson, who co-produced and starred in the film as lexicographer James Murray, filed an answer to a cross-complaint on Wednesday, in which he joined in the accusation.
Gibson’s attorneys have alleged that producer Zev Foreman offered a $1.3 million fee to Safinia, on the condition that Safinia then rebate $1 million to Voltage under the guise of buying a literary property.
“Mr. Foreman also indicated he had perpetrated similar fraudulent transactions in connection with Voltage’s production of films in the State of Louisiana to obtain tax credits there,” Gibson’s attorneys stated.
The filing states that Warren Dern, Safinia’s lawyer, asked Foreman for a letter from a recognised law firm stating that such an arrangement would be legal. No such letter was provided.
Safinia previously said that he rejected the deal. The new filing also asserts that Voltage made a similar offer to Vicki Christianson, the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Gibson’s company, Icon Productions. She also rejected it, the attorneys state.
Voltage’s attorney, Jeremiah Reynolds, previously said that the tax scam allegation was fabricated. Voltage declined to comment on the latest claims.