Long-time Criminal Minds star Thomas Gibson, who was fired from the CBS crime drama on Friday, may be getting ready to hit back. The actor has recently retained Louis “Skip” Miller and Alexander Frid in what could be a potential lawsuit against Criminal Minds producers ABC Studios and CBS TV Studios. “Our firm is representing Mr. Gibson,” Miller told Deadline Saturday.
The Miller Barondess attorneys have a face-to-face with the fired actor planned for next week. With that to happen, a 2014 lawsuit from Gibson’s former manager might serve as a blueprint for where the actor’s behavior ended up.
Craig Dorfman filed a breach of contract complaint almost two-years ago over unpaid commissions from his long time ex-client. Alleging a history of bad behavior by the actor, the suit ended up at the Labor Commission and still is waiting a ruling, despite a hearing months ago.
“On Criminal Minds, Gibson believed the producers, directors, writers, and cast members were incompetent and inferior to him,” the August 2014 suit, filed by lawyers Bryan Freedman and Jordan Susman, claims amidst a litany of incidents by Gibson in both his professional and personal life. “Not surprisingly, given Gibson’s condescending attitude towards his colleagues, Gibson often verbally sparred with his co-workers, with one incident almost resulting in fisticuffs on the set,” it adds as almost a warning to what occurred more recently. Cast members listed as having been involved in verbal altercations with Gibson include ex-stars Mandy Patinkin and Shemar Moore, with Dorfman claiming that he “talked Gibson out of physically attacking Moore.”
“Consequently, Dorfman was needed to cajole network executives, assuage angry producers, and manage Gibson’s talent agents and publicists.” Dorfman is, of course, no longer repping Gibson and obviously any cajoling by current reps over the latest incident wasn’t enough to keep Gibson on the job.
Hollywood litigator Miller also represented producer Byron Allen in his big bucks racial bias legal actions against AT&T and DirecTV, which ended last year. He is continuing to handle ongoing suits that Allen’s Entertainment Studios Networks and the National Association of African-American Owned Media have against the FCC, Charter Communications and Comcast.
Gibson’s termination was prompted by a physical altercation on the set of the show, which happened about two weeks ago. In it, Gibson allegedly kicked co-executive producer Virgil Williams. The matter was taken to human resources, triggering an internal investigation and a two-week suspension for Gibson, who also was dismissed from his directing duties on the show. There also had been a previous on-set incident in 2010 when Gibson had to undergo anger management counseling after hitting assistant director Ian Woolf. The decision to dismiss Gibson was made with the actor’s prior history, which also included a DUI arrest and a headline-making catfishing incident, likely taken into consideration.
“Thomas Gibson has been dismissed from Criminal Minds,” the two studios said in a terse joint statement Friday. “Creative details for how the character’s exit will be addressed in the show will be announced at a later date.” Gibson is an original Criminal Minds cast member, playing Special Agent Aaron Hotchner since the series’ 2005 debut.
If Gibson does decide to take the legal plunge, it will not be the first such suit ABC Studios has going on with a former star. For more than 5 years, through a mistrial and more, the Disney-owned entity has been dealing with a wrongful termination lawsuit by former Desperate Housewives co-star Nicollette Sheridan, which recently got a new trial date.
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