Scott and Deirdre Gurney aren’t taking their sacking from ITV lying down.
Days after the Gurneys, producers on the A&E reality series “Duck Dynasty,” were sacked from ITV America and sued for fraud by the company, an attorney for the couple said that the producers will mount a countersuit.
“This is a blatant, desperate attempt at intimidation by ITV, a classic greedy corporate grab, solely for the purpose of enriching one shareholder at the expense of the founders who built this company into the highly valued, sustained financial success story that it is,” the couple’s attorney, Michael E. Weinsten, said. “The claims against the Gurneys are completely baseless and fraught with contradictions, inconsistencies and outright falsehoods. My clients are considering all of their legal options and are preparing to respond accordingly.”
The Gurneys were given the heave-ho by ITV on Friday, the same day that the company filed a lawsuit against them for fraud and breach of contract.
According to ITV, an audit determined that the couple was secretly operating another production company that competed with Gurney Productions, which ITV purchased in 2012.
“Following a meeting with Scott and Deirdre Gurney, the Board of Gurney Productions has been left with no alternative but to terminate their employment and file a lawsuit in the Superior Court of California on the grounds of self-dealing, fraudulent concealment and breach of contract,” a Gurney Productions spokeswoman wrote.
According to the lawsuit, the Gurneys sold a majority stake in their production company — which produces A&E’s “Duck Dynasty,” about a Louisiana backwoods family with a successful duck call business — but then secretly formed a new production entity, Snake River Productions.
“They formed Snake River as part of an unlawful plan to misappropriate the company’s opportunities for themselves and to artificially inflate the company’s EBITDA,” or earnings before taxes, depreciation and amortization, the complaint added.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.