While there’s been a fair bit of Chevron Shakedown coverage already this year, this story has an ironic and interesting twist to it. While Chevron continues to chase down all of the people involved in attempting to pick their pockets, it seems like some of the actors involved with Ecuador and the environmentalists are falling to feeding on each other. And in this case, actors has a literal as well as a figurative meaning. Hollywood star Sharon Stone was scheduled to make a (paid) appearance in Ecuador last year to talk about the environment and generally say how bad Chevron was, etc. She was paid a significant sum of money for this “activism” but two small problems cropped up. First, she didn’t show up to do the appearance. And second, according the hosts of the event, she kept the money anyway.
A public relations firm representing the government of Ecuador sued Sharon Stone in federal court on Tuesday alleging that the actress absconded with a large speaking fee for work promoting that government’s long-running legal and political battle against oil giant Chevron.
The complaint, filed by New York-based MCSquared PR, alleges that Stone and the American Talent Bureau, a speaking agency that represented her, accepted $275,000 to attend an anti-Chevron event in Ecuador last year but failed to appear as promised.
MCSquared alleges that APB canceled Stone’s appearance at an event in Ecuador, scheduled for April 2014, but never returned the $275,000 it was paid for the event.
The firm’s agreement with Stone and APB was never put in writing, admitted MCSquared president Maria Garay in an affidavit accompanying the complaint. However, the firm “entered into an oral agreement with APB and Stone (through her agent APB) for Stone to make a three-day appearance in Ecuador from April 7-9, 2014.”
In terms of their little spat, there are obviously complicating factors. The reps for the actress say she fell ill in Brazil right before the event. They also claim that the contract for the event was never put in writing. Both of these items are certainly relevant, but they lose some heft in the argument when you fail to give back the cash.
None of this, however, is as interesting as the enlightenment gained about MCSquared, who admits to arranging for multiple celebrities to go and speak on behalf of the rain forests and against Chevron… all for a pretty hefty price tag. Mia Farrow received $188,000 and Danny Glover was paid $330,000. It’s rather odd that when you hear about these Hollywood types taking a bold stance against The Man and fighting for the health of the planet, they never seem to mention all the money they are getting, no?
This is just a Friday feel good story for you, but I’m sure the folks at Chevron are finding it all quite amusing.