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Telecast won’t air Elton John speech after footage ‘held hostage’

There can be a weird scenario at an occasion paying tribute to Sir Elton John and husband David Furnish this weekend — as a result of the friends of honor can be MIA resulting from a bitter battle over footage of the couple.

Producers behind Sunday’s “AIDS Stroll: Reside at House” telecast employed “Jersey Boys” actor Erich Bergen to make a pre-taped video of the couple accepting a lifetime achievement award from the group.

However the agency, MZA Occasions, filed a swimsuit in opposition to Bergen earlier this week claiming that he was “holding the footage hostage.”

Now it appears the swimsuit hasn’t satisfied Bergen to cough up the footage — so the occasion will function a string of celebs lauding the couple, however no look from Sir Elton or Furnish themselves.

“There can be footage of Billy Porter, George Takei, Ann-Margaret – everybody can be congratulating Elton and David, however you won’t have them accepting the award. [The program] has to forgo the acceptance speech as a result of they don’t have one which isn’t watermarked,” an insider instructed Web page Six.

Bergen shot the speech weeks in the past after Sir Elton’s Oscar’s social gathering, however solely submitted a watermarked model of the clip after which went AWOL based on sources conversant in the scenario.

MZA’s swimsuit claims he was paid $38,000 to provide the video and that he “offered the video in an unusable [watermarked] format out of spite and for the aim of antagonizing MZA Occasions as a result of MZA Occasions was unwilling to accommodate Mr. Bergen’s ‘my method or the freeway’ strategy to producing the video,” attorneys for the manufacturing firm wrote within the grievance.

One other insider instructed us he additional tried to jeopardize the occasion by trying to get charitable organizations to drag out after he caught wind of the swimsuit.

“He reached out to board members of the GHMC Aids charity and tried to get them to again out of the occasion and interfered with the connection. He was despatched a stop and desist letter,” the insider mentioned.

Bergen’s rep beforehand instructed us he didn’t have a contract with MZA and “any suggestion of that is merely a lie.”

They doubled down on Friday and mentioned, “None of that is remotely true and admittedly, very disturbing. There was no contract between Mr. Bergen and MZA Occasions. MZA hasn’t paid him a dime. We’re suspicious of the motives behind the submitting of the lawsuit. Mr. Bergen hasn’t completed something to derail the occasion.”

The second insider, nevertheless, insists that Bergen was employed. “Why would he shoot [the video] if he wasn’t? It’s all weird, however the occasion is shifting ahead. All the charitable organizations are nonetheless behind it. We’re making one of the best of the scenario,” the second supply mentioned.

A rep for John has not commented on the scenario.

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Tina Sanders

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