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Richard Gere claims he is being extorted for $500k by producers over rights to Buddhism film

The religion may be very Zen — but things can get pretty heated over the movie rights.

Richard Gere has claimed he is being extorted for $500k over the film rights to a book on Buddhism.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the 68-year-old filed a lawsuit on Friday in L.A. County Superior Court, stemming from a battle over Bones of the Master: A Buddhist Monk’s Search for the Lost Heart of China by George L. Crane.

Trouble: Richard Gere has claimed he is being extorted for $500k over the film rights to a book on Buddhism

Gere claims that in 2009 he entered into a joint producer agreement with Random Acts Entertainment, owned by Scott and Anna Elias, with a view to bringing the book to the big screen.

He wanted to star in and direct the film, while Anna would write one or more drafts of the screenplay.

Gere claimed they agreed in 2015 to split the cost of the $35,000, and that he fronted the entire cost upfront.

However he said the Eliases never repaid him, thus losing any rights they had to the book.

Free Tibet: The Pretty Woman star has strong ties to Tibetan Buddhism and is an active supporter of the Dalai Lama

Free Tibet: The Pretty Woman star has strong ties to Tibetan Buddhism and is an active supporter of the Dalai Lama

There was also creative differences, with Gere describing Anna’s screenplay as ‘woefully inadequate’.

‘In order for Mr. Gere to commit to the Project as the star and director, Mr. Gere required that the screenplay be completed and approved,’ his attorney Jeremiah Reynolds said. 

Fight: The 68-year-old filed a lawsuit on Friday in L.A. County Superior Court, stemming from a battle over Bones of the Master: A Buddhist Monk's Search for the Lost Heart of China by George L. Crane

Fight: The 68-year-old filed a lawsuit on Friday in L.A. County Superior Court, stemming from a battle over Bones of the Master: A Buddhist Monk’s Search for the Lost Heart of China by George L. Crane

‘This approval right has been consistently applied to virtually all films in which Mr. Gere has starred.’

After refusing to commit to the film, Gere claims the duo threatened with a lawsuit that includes insulting and defamatory claims, and demanded half a million dollars to buy them out of the deal.

‘Despite Mr. Gere’s efforts to make the Project a success, Defendants, who are evidently desperate for money, have recently attempted to extort Mr. Gere into paying them the sum of $500,000 to “buyout” their interest in the Project, despite their breaches and lack of investment,’ Reynolds added in the lawsuit.

Gere is suing for breach of contract and is seeking a declaration that defendants have no rights in the book or the project, as well as his $17,500 back.

The Pretty Woman star has strong ties to Tibetan Buddhism and is an active supporter of the Dalai Lama. 

It was confirmed this week he had wed his third wife, 35-year-old Alejandra Silva; he was previously married to Cindy Crawford and Carey Lowell.

Third time lucky: It was confirmed this week he had wed his third wife, 35-year-old Alejandra Silva; he was previously married to Cindy Crawford and Carey Lowell

Third time lucky: It was confirmed this week he had wed his third wife, 35-year-old Alejandra Silva; he was previously married to Cindy Crawford and Carey Lowell



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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