Simon Fuller Sues Fox Over Simon Cowell's X Factor
Posted on Wed Jul 20, 2011 02:03 PM PDT

scowell072011_230.jpgLOS ANGELES, California (X17online) - American Idol creator Simon Fuller has sued Fox over his rights to Simon Cowell's The X-Factor.

Fuller said Fox went back on their word to grant him an executive producer credit and subsequent fee for The X Factor, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The suit reads:

    "Fox and Fremantle made hundreds of millions of dollars thanks to the creative efforts of Fuller. Now, when it is time to finally perform on these unequivocal promises, Fox and Fremantle refuse to provide Fuller his executive producer credit for Defendants' new television show, The X Factor, and refuse to pay Fuller an executive producer fee 'commesurate with his duties and stature in the entertainment industry.'

It also added that if Fuller hadn't made the agreement to begin with, The X Factor would not even be able to air in the U.S.

Those original negotiations stem from a 2004 settlement when Fuller and Cowell fought a copyright-infringement battle after The X Factor launched in the U.K. According to a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Fremantle North America, which produces both Idol and The X Factor, has reneged on the deal.

When the U.K. version of The X Factor premiered, Fuller claimed it was a blatant rip-off of Idol. Fox reached a settlement in 2005, allowing Cowell to stay on as an Idol judge for five seasons while giving him more power within the franchise as long as he didn't launch The X Factor in the U.S. until 2011. In exchange, Fuller pulled Pop Idol off the air in the U.K. and was to receive a fee when, and if, The X Factor premiered in America.

Cowell left Idol in 2010, and the U.S. version of The X Factor is currently set to air in September.

Fox responded to the lawsuit, stating:

    "Mr. Fuller has not been hired, nor performed any duties, on the U.S. version of The X Factor. His suit seeks payment and credit as an executive producer despite his neither having been approved by the required parties, nor hired, as such. We believe this lawsuit is without merit, and we expect to prevail."

Damages have not been specified.

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