The TV producer Simon Fuller is reportedly pursuing legal action against the makers of the US version of The X Factor, which includes his rival Simon Cowell, claiming that an agreement made in a previous lawsuit was not honoured.
Fuller originally sued Cowell for allegedly copying the format for the hugely successful TV programme American Idol to create The X Factor in the UK. The lawsuit was launched in 2005 and after a two year battle, the case was settled out of court with Cowell agreeing to award Fuller an executive producer credit on The UK X Factor.
It was also agreed that Fuller would receive 10 per cent of The X Factor’s earnings, along with a guarantee that an American version of the show wouldn’t be launched for at least five years.
Whilst this last part of the agreement has been honoured – The X Factor USA is set to launch in September 2011 – Fuller is claiming that Cowell, the Fox network and FremantleMedia have refused to grant what was promised to him.
The lawsuit states:
“Mr. Fuller has prudently attempted to settle this matter privately but the other parties have refused to honor the original contract leaving him no other choice but to pursue legal action.”
Fox and FremantleMedia are likely to have professional indemnity insurance policies in place to cover the costs of fighting this case, which are likely to be extensive, but both companies have issued a rebuttal of the allegations nonetheless.