‘Survivor’ Suit Survives

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In response to a motion to dismiss brought by Survivor participant Stacey Stillman, the Los Angeles Superior Court Thursday today affirmed that breach of contract and defamation claims, asserted against Stillman by the Survivor production company SEG, Inc., must proceed.

Stillman had sought to have the suit quashed under California's anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) law, which prohibits lawsuits that attempt to restrict the free-speech rights of others.

In its Feb.20 filing of the lawsuit, SEG claims Stillman breached the confidentiality agreement she had signed when she agreed to be on the reality TV show and cited news interviews in which Stillman had said that the reality program was ''rigged.''

Stillman, filed her suit Feb. 5 against SEG, CBS, producer Mark Burnett and others, claiming the producer asked two of her fellow contestants to vote her off the island so that the show could keep its older audience's demographics by having older contestants remain on the island.

In making its ruling, the court considered testimony from Burnett and six other members of the Tagi tribe on the first season of Survivor: Dr. Sean Kenniff, Richard Hatch, Rudy Boesch, Susan Hawk, Kelly Wiglesworth and Sonja Christopher.

There has been some controversy about the testimony of yet another contestant. Dirk Been says he was told his deposition would not be made public because he was given a confidentiality agreement by both Stillman and SEG. He said he only agreed to give it under those conditions.

It now appears the testimony may not have been sealed by the judge.

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