Timothy Hutton has sued the producers of the TV series “Leverage: Redemption,” alleging that they breached his contract when they dropped him from the show following a report of a sexual assault allegation.
BuzzFeed reported in March 2020 that a woman had gone to the Vancouver Police Department, alleging that Hutton had raped her in 1983, when she was 14. Hutton denied the allegations and alleged that the accuser had repeatedly sought to extort him out of millions of dollars. Prosecutors in British Columbia ultimately decided not to press charges.
At the time, Hutton was preparing to reprise his role in “Leverage,” a TNT series that ran from 2008 to 2012. But after the BuzzFeed report, the production company, Dean Devlin’s Electric Entertainment, dropped him from the reboot of the show.
The suit alleges that Electric did nothing to investigate the allegation and ignored evidence that Hutton’s representatives presented that challenged the claim. The suit also alleges that Electric has violated the pay-or-play provision of Hutton’s agreement and still owes him at least $3 million.
According to the suit, Hutton’s representatives had reached an oral agreement on terms of his participation in the show, which would have paid him $175,000 per episode, plus the opportunity to direct at least one episode per season. The suit also notes that the contract did not include a “morals clause.”
Hutton was replaced by actor Noah Wyle, and the reboot, “Leverage: Redemption,” debuted on IMDb TV in July 2021. The series was renewed for a second season in December.
In a statement, Electric Entertainment said that Hutton had not disclosed the allegation during talks about the project. Once the company became aware of the claim, it decided to “move on without him.”
“We take allegations of sexual assault very seriously, especially when children are involved,” the company said. “Despite dealing with these allegations for years, Mr. Hutton failed to disclose them to us before or during negotiations for him to reprise his role in ‘Leverage: Redemption.’ Consequently, once we learned of the allegations in the press, we ceased negotiations with him and chose to move on without him. His baseless allegations against us are without merit and we intend to vigorously defend ourselves.”
Electric added that it has yet to see a copy of the complaint.
Update: Hutton’s attorney, Dale Kinsella, said in a statement that the lawsuit is a “last resort.”
“This was a flagrant and pretextual breach of an agreement that had been done for weeks before Electric Entertainment decided there was no deal,” Kinsella said. “Worse, Electric made this decision without any investigation whatsoever. While nobody relishes the prospect of litigation, this course of action is a last resort to hold Electric Entertainment to its obligations. We look forward to presenting our claims to a jury and are confident it will reject Electric’s purported reliance on unsubstantiated and frivolous charges.”
The full complaint is here: