A Los Angeles-based producer has sued heavy metal icon Ozzy Osbourne and his wife/manager Sharon, claiming that the couple stole his idea for their hit MTV series, "The Osbournes." In the suit, filed
A Los Angeles-based producer has sued heavy metal icon Ozzy Osbourne and his wife/manager Sharon, claiming that the couple stole his idea for their hit MTV series, "The Osbournes." In the suit, filed yesterday (July 25) in Los Angeles Superior Court, plaintiff Gary Binkow says he met repeatedly with the couple and executives from Miramax TV in 1999-2000 to discuss "a real-life docu-sitcom" about the aging rocker and his family.
"In developing the show, [the Osbournes] misappropriated plaintiff's idea and concept without his knowledge and consent and without compensating" him, says the suit, which is seeking unspecified damages for breach of contract and fraud.
A spokesperson for Sharon Osbourne said previous published reports made it clear that Binkow was not the show's creator, but otherwise declined comment. A spokesperson for MTV -- which was not named in the suit -- said the network had no comment. Lawyers for Binkow did not return calls by deadline.
The court papers include what Binkow says is a copy of his original treatment of the proposed series from January 2000, registered with the Writers Guild of America. The document says the show "will showcase the trials and tribulations of real-life rock star Ozzy Osbourne" and specifies that "the audience shouldn't really know if the show is scripted or not."
Binkow is executive producer of "Neverland," a feature film starring Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet that is being shot in London.
Ozzy Osbourne is currently on the road with his annual Ozzfest touring hard rock music festival, which visits West Palm Beach, Fla., today. As previously reported, Sharon Osbourne is battling cancer and expects her upcoming chemotherapy treatments to be part of the show's second season.