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''Madam Secretary'' Star Accused of Holding Video Footage of Elton And David ''Hostage''

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The New York Post has reported that Sunday's AIDS Walk: Live at Home, during which Elton and David Furnish are to receive Lifetime Achievement Awards, is in jeopardy.

 
The fault lies with Madam Secretary's Erich Bergen, according to court records and insiders. He was hired by MZA Events to film Elton and David accepting the honour for the work they've done. But he's holding this video footage ''hostage,'' according to a lawsuit filed against him Tuesday.
 
A source says: ''When you look at the entire program in its entirely, there's Eric Garcetti {L.A. mayor} congratulating Elton and David, Ann-Margret and George Takei, it's strange when you don't have Elton and David accepting the award.''
 
The actor, who was paid $38,000 to produce the video, merely sent a watermarked version of the clip, even though it was agreed by both parties that MZA ''owns the raw footage and the finished work products,'' records allege. 
 
''Mr. Bergen provided the video in an unusable format out of spite and for the purpose of antagonising MZA Events because MZA Events was unwilling to accommodate Mr. Bergen's 'my way or the highway' approach to producing the video,'' lawyers for the production company wrote in their complaint. 
 
At the same time, Erich was communicating and negotiating with Elton's people behind the production company's back, trying to get close to to him and failing to tell MZA about stipulations Elton and David had about the video, according to papers. By doing so, Bergen ''benefited himself because he wanted to be the one who exclusively communicated and had the relationship with representatives of Sir Elton John and Mr. Furnish, not MZA Events, and wanted to be the one who creatively controlled the content and production of the video.''
 
The actor did this because ''he believed this would lead to more business opportunities for himself going forward, including to usurp opportunities belonging to MZA Events.''
 
An insider said the situation is reaching ''a boiling point'' since the broadcast is just days away and major partners like ABC and CBS need to see the whole 60-minute program in its entirely before the Sunday broadcast.
 
''Elton's team is unaware of what's going on. They were already incredibly generous with their time. Asking them to record it again is the very, very last option that will explored at the last minute. It's a huge ask.''
 
Meanwhile, a rep for Erich claimed they just learned of the lawsuit yesterday, adding:
 
''There was never any contract between Mr. Bergen and MZA Events so we are not sure why they even filed this suit. Any suggestion of this is simply a lie. We hope to resolve this but since this is now being litigated, we are not making any further comments.''
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