- - Sunday, December 2, 2012

It’s no joking matter.

A producer of the film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” is suing the British comedy troupe over royalties from the hit stage musical “Spamalot.”

Producer Mark Forstater wants a bigger share of proceeds from the show, which is based on the Pythons’ 1975 movie spoof of the legend of King Arthur.

Lawyers for Monty Python are contesting Mr. Forstater’s claim and will present their arguments later. Python members Eric Idle, Michael Palin and Terry Jones will give evidence during a five-day hearing that began Friday at London’s High Court.

Mr. Forstater is suing the trio and the two other surviving Python members, John Cleese and Terry Gilliam. The sixth member of the troupe, Graham Chapman, died in 1989.

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Mr. Forstater’s lawyer, Tom Weisselberg, said that under an agreement made when the film was produced, “for financial purposes Mr. Forstater was to be treated as the seventh Python” and entitled to the same share of “Holy Grail” merchandising and spin-off income as the other members.

But the lawyer said Mr. Forstater had not received his fair share of royalties from the stage show, which has been a hit around the world. It ran on Broadway for almost four years until 2009 and is still playing in London’s West End.

Mr. Weisselberg said Mr. Forstater, who was declared bankrupt earlier this year, had been forced to go to court because of his “difficult financial circumstances.”

Attorneys: Halle Berry, ex-boyfriend settle dispute

Attorneys for Halle Berry and her ex-boyfriend have settled court issues that arose after a Thanksgiving Day fight at the actress’s home.

The fisticuffs involved Miss Berry’s ex-boyfriend Gabriel Aubry and her fiance, actor Olivier Martinez. Mr. Aubry was arrested after the fight, which left him with a black eye, a broken rib and other injuries.

Mr. Aubry obtained a temporary restraining order against Mr. Martinez. The model and Miss Berry have been battling over custody of their 4-year-old daughter for months and have appeared twice in a family law court since the fight.

Blair Berk, an attorney for Miss Berry, and Shawn Holley, who represents Mr. Aubry, released a statement after Thursday’s hearing that said the two sides had reached an amicable agreement.

No details were released, and the attorneys declined to answer questions.

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