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Former Golden Globes publicist sues, alleges fraud

- Associated Press - Friday, January 14, 2011

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A former publicist for the organization that runs the Golden Globes is suing the group, claiming it accepts payments in exchange for nominations and awards.

Michael Russell sued the Hollywood Foreign Press Association on Thursday, just three days before the Golden Globes are slated to air on NBC.

Russell claims his company was fired after last year's award show, despite helping resurrect the show from a scandal in the early 1980s that led to its television contract being canceled.

The lawsuit claims the HFPA's members receive payments that could jeopardize the group's tax-exempt status, and that prime media spots on the red carpet are sold to little-known entities.

Messages for Golden Globes publicists Michael Samonte and Keleigh Thomas were not immediately returned Friday.

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