Bill Nye has filed a fraud lawsuit against Disney claiming that he was underpaid by $9.3 million for his successful TV series.
In a lawsuit filed with the Los Angeles County Superior Court on Thursday, the “Science Guy” says that unscrupulous accounting led the Walt Disney Company and its subsidiaries to make at least $28 million in “ill-gotten profits” from his show.
ABC, Buena Vista and Touchstone are also named in the complaint.
The suit states that Nye “believes and thereon alleges that as a direct and proximate result of the Defendants’ breach of fiduciary duty, Plaintiff has suffered damages in the amount of not less than Nine Million Three Hundred Fifty Thousand Five Hundred Sixty dollars (USD$9,350,565.00), the final amount to be proven at trial,” says the complaint, dropping some big bucks demands.
“Plaintiff is further informed and believes and thereon alleges that the Defendants, by breaching their fiduciary duties, enriched themselves, at the expense of the Plaintiff and the BNSG Owners, obtaining ill-gotten profits of not less than Twenty Eight Million Fifty One Thousand Six Hundred Ninety Five dollars (USD$28,051,695.00),” Nye does some math at Disney’s expense that alleges to be at his expense,” it continues.
The popular host says that an accounting error first made him suspicious of Buena Vista Televisions’s royalty calculations and after years of “futile negotiations” to obtain the corresponding records and get an explanation for the error he was forced to hire an external auditor.
Eventually, even “in the absence of these essential documents, even without the ability to fully examine the accounting and related records of the Defendants … the Auditor identified hundreds of thousands of dollars in underreported payments owed to Mr. Nye,” his attorney Charles Rainey states.
“Bill Nye the Science Guy” was a live action science program that originally aired from September 1993 to June 1998.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.