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No decision reached in Jeremy Piven grievance hearing

It doesn't look as if Jeremy Piven will face penalties for the fish tale behind his decision to leave a hit Broadway revival.

Piven yesterday was summoned to a grievance hearing initiated by the backers of "Speed-the-Plow," the David Mamet revival that starred - and then didn't - the hyper-caffeinated actor from HBO's "Entourage."

Piven had begun previews of the comedy in October, then abruptly left two months later, citing a medical diagnosis of mercury poisoning, possibly from eating too much fish.

In a joint statement yesterday, Actors' Equity Association and the Broadway League said a committee of five actors and five producers had been unable to reach the necessary unanimous decision after the daylong hearing.

"The producers have the right, as a next step, to proceed to arbitration," the statement said.

The committee structure was stipulated in contract language set forth by producers and the actor's union. Actors' Equity represented Piven in the matter.

Piven arrived before noon at the 46th Street offices of Actors' Equity and was met by a swarm of entertainment reporters, some asking: "Will you ever eat Yellowtail again?" He did not respond.

The actor later issued a statement saying the producers "did not prevail" in their efforts to convince the committee that he should have remained with the play.


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