Jeremy Piven's sudden departure from Broadway – blamed on a crippling sushi addiction – has left producers bleeding money and cast mates fuming.
Last week the "Entourage" star bailed on his role in "Speed the Plow," claiming that a sushi-heavy diet had given him mercury poisoning, leaving him severely fatigued.
U.S. & World
In the week before the mercurial star's exit, the play had taken in $485,751. During the first week without the Emmy winner, the show's receipts fell 33 percent, to $326,559.
"He's been eating sushi twice a day for years," Dr. Carlon Colker of the Peak Wellness Center told the New York Post. "He's a voracious sushi eater. I tested him, and he's got a shocking (mercury) level of almost six times the upper limit of what's allowable."
The show's writer, David Mamet sounded a doubtful tone in response to Piven's alleged ailment.
"So my understanding is that he is leaving show business to pursue a career as a thermometer," told Daily Variety.
Co-star Raul Esparza, one this generation's great Broadway's talents, expressed relief to a matinee audience following a post-Piven performance, reported Fox News.
"I'm sure you've read the headlines about the silliness in our show. Today was the first time I really enjoyed playing this show. I hope you weren't expecting a big TV star," Esparza said as co-star Elizabeth Moss sobbed.