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Filmmaker Michael Moore has sued Bob and Harvey Weinstein seeking $2.7 million in profits he says they owe him from Fahrenheit 9/11, Moore’s 2004 documentary about George W. Bush’s decision to go to war in Iraq following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The suit, filed in Los Angeles County, Calif., Superior Court on Monday, alleges the Weinstein brothers, who formed Fellowship Adventure Group to distribute the documentary in alliance with Lionsgate and IFC Films, engaged in “accounting tricks and financial deception” in connection with the film, which made more than $222 million in worldwide box office gross receipts. Moore’s lawyer, Stanton “Larry” Stein, a partner at Los Angeles-based Liner Grode Stein Yankelevitz Sunshine Regenstreif & Taylor, said his client has received “only a fraction” of what he was owed from the film. “Almost every single project in Hollywood has had an audit or lawsuit over profits — it’s not like this is some highly unusual circumstance,” he said in an interview. “The only thing unusual about this is that Michael Moore has been a filmmaker for 20 years and has avoided it, which is a testament to how he resolves things.” Bertram Fields, who represents the Weinstein brothers, said the timing of the lawsuit was suspicious, given that The King’s Speech, which was distributed by the Weinstein brothers, has received 12 Academy Award nominations. He disputed Moore’s claims. “There is a contract between them, but he’s been paid every dime coming to him,” said Fields, a partner at Los Angeles-based Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger. “He’s received $20 million and he says it ought to be $22 million. He’s misreading the contract and wrong on every single claim he makes.” Moore claims he was entitled to half the profits, but Fellowship Adventure Group used “bogus accounting methods” to hide profits from him. Also, an audit Moore commissioned that was completed in 2008 and updated in 2010 indicated several accounting irregularities, such as charging for private jets to fly one of the Weinstein brothers and his assistant to Europe. The original contract for the film was signed in 2003 between Dog Eat Dog Films Inc., Moore’s predecessor firm, and Icon Entertainment International, which assigned all the rights to distribute the movie to Miramax Films, which the Weinstein brothers sold in 2005 to The Walt Disney Co. Moore and the Weinstein brothers have worked together on earlier films. Moore is the Oscar-winning director of Bowling for Columbine, a documentary about gun violence that followed the 1999 shooting spree at Columbine High School in Colorado. Monday’s suit, filed by Moore’s company, Westside Productions LLC, alleges breach of fiduciary duty, constructive fraud and breach of contract and seeks an accounting of the film’s revenues. The suit, which names Fellowship Adventure Group and both Weinstein brothers, seeks unspecified punitive damages. Contact Amanda Bronstad at [email protected].

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