A former publicist for the organization that runs the Golden Globes has sued, charging the group with a payola scheme for noms and awards!
Michael Russell filed a lawsuit against the Hollywood Foreign Press Association days before the annual airing of the Tinsel Town self congratulatory award shows that has been bumped twice from the broadcast airwaves due to scandal, AP reports.
According to the lawsuit Russell claims many association members "abuse their positions and engage in unethical and potentially unlawful deals and arrangements which amount to a ‘payola’ scheme" that could be illegal and jeopardize the group’s tax-exempt status.
The lawsuit seeks $2 million and alleges breach of contract, defamation and fraud over the association’s firing of Russell and his partner after the awards show last year.
The Globes were first rocked by scandal in the late 1960s when the FCC questioned the authenticity of its "voting" process and the show was banned for TV networks for several years.
In the 1980s, the Globes lost its broadcast deal with CBS after members were accused of receiving payoffs and favors fort voting for newcomer of the year Pia Zadora.
Raising eyebrows this year is the nomination of Angelina Jolie as Best Actress in a Comedy for The Tourist.
Long considered a precursor to the more legit back slapping of the Academy Awards, The Golden Globes has 90 members from six continent that hand picks the nominees and winners – far less than the reported 6,000 plus voters who comprise Oscar voters.