Piven Wasn't Sick, He Was Fired: Source

Mercury poisoning just easy excuse for bored diva
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Jan 6, 2009 3:06 PM CST
Elisabeth Moss and Jeremy Piven are seen in David Mamet's "Speed-The-Plow," before the Entourage star left the show.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – It may have been a pink slip, not a doctor's note, that prompted Jeremy Piven's premature exit from Speed-the-Plow. Diva behavior befitting that of his Entourage persona got him booted, Broadway insiders tell E! Piven—who cites mercury poisoning—wanted out, they claim, because he couldn't handle the nightly grind. He'd arrive minutes before showtime and send out his understudy if the audience size wasn't up to snuff.

"Jeremy was not fired from the show," maintains his rep, who provided a doctor's number to confirm his high mercury count. "This show has been his number one priority since he started rehearsals."
(Read more Jeremy Piven stories.)