Roughly one month ago we reported that Sharon Stone was in a legal tussle over an appearance she was scheduled to make in Ecuador. She was billed as part of protests against Chevron which are part of that nation’s failed efforts to shake down the energy giant for billions of dollars. As it turns out, there may be more to the story than was first indicated. (I’ll emphasize the word may in that sentence.)
According to a story this week in The Hollywood Reporter, Stone was set to head to Ecuador last April 7th and meet with government officials, but hours before the trip, she canceled, because MCSquared issued a press release claiming the actress would be part of the anti-Chevron theatrics.
That wasn’t part of the deal, her lawyers stated in a court document (MCS is suing Stone for nearly $350,000 for the canceled trip, wanting payment for her fees and for very expensive expenses):
At no time did Ms. Stone agree to support this campaign, advance any other political agenda of the Ecuadorian government, or advocate against Chevron. In addition, Ms. Stone subsequently learned that MCS failed to disclose that it was conducting public relations activities in the United States on behalf of the Republic of Ecuador in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which requires a foreign agent to register with the U.S. Department of Justice.
I suppose this is possible. Could Sharon Stone really have agreed to an international trip which would rake in a hefty, six figure payday without having any idea what it was she was expected to do when she arrived? To the layman this sounds rather crazy, but if you have “people” who handle all your scheduling for you and they book an engagement, perhaps it’s conceivable. But then, the woman has long claimed to have an IQ in the genius range and used to boast that she was a member of MENSA. (The latter assertion was recanted.) She’s also been very politically active in the past, so this sounds like precisely the sort of thing she’d be onboard with.
But if we’re to take her at her word, she’s certainly backpedaling like mad. This next response from her office makes it sound like she’s just crazy about Chevron.
“Stone was discharged from performing her obligations under the agreement as a result of MCS’ material breach of contract,” namely by putting out a press release without approval mentioning the “Dirty Hand of Chevron” campaign. Brettler adds, “It falsely portrays Ms. Stone as agreeing to travel to Ecuador for the purpose of advocating against Chevron, which is one of the world’s largest companies employing over 60,000 people, and which is headquartered in her home state of California.”
This all sounds very strange. As we reported in February, the original story from Stone’s team about why she failed to appear for the event was that the actress was taken ill shortly before the scheduled appearance and she couldn’t make it. There was no mention at the time of anything to do with a press release or being “surprised” at the purpose of her appearance. But she deserves to have her side of the story told, so there you have it.
The National Review article linked above also includes an entertaining and informative video which was just released. It provides the story of the Chevron Shakedown (the “Fraud of the Century”) in only three minutes. Enjoy.