Showtime has been sued by the estate of George Richey over its original “George & Tammy.”
“Showtime transformed George Richey into the villain of its story, raking in profits and views. Showtime unjustly benefitted from Georgette’s violation of her prior contractual promise to never again disparage or encourage the disparagement of the Richey family,” a statement from attorney Todd McMurtry of Hemmer Wessels McMurtry said in a press release. “We are honored to represent Sheila and Tatum Richey in this important lawsuit. Many serious issues are at stake, and we look forward to addressing them with the court.”
Sheila Slaughter Richey, who is the executrix of the estate of the late George Richey, serves as the plaintiff in this case. The lawsuit is specifically about “unjust enrichment and tortious interference” related to Steve Zahn’s portrayal of singer, songwriter and Tammy Wynette’s ex husband.
Then suit largely revolved around the opening credits of the series, which state the six-episode series is based on Georgette Jones’ book, “The Three of Us: Growing Up with Tammy and George,” and cites Jones as a consulting producer. Jones is the only biological child of Wynette and George Jones. She faced legal action in 2015 from Sheila Slaughter Richey due to the contents of that book.
That lawsuit concluded with Jones and Jackie Daly, another one of Wynette’s daughters, agreeing to a NDA, which stated its signees were “not to make any statements, written or verbal, or cause or encourage others to make any statements, written or verbal, that defame, disparage or in any way criticize the personal or business reputation, practices or conduct of Sheila Slaughter Richey, Tatum Keys Richey and/or (the deceased) George Richey, in perpetuity.” That NDA was signed in 2019, three years before “George & Tammy” aired.
The suit also claims that “George & Tammy” depicts Richey as a “devious husband” who “abused” Wynette and his previous wife, “facilitated and encouraged” Wynette’s addiction to painkillers and manipulated Wynette financially and managerially.
Created by Abe Sylvia, “George & Tammy” chronicled the complicate relationship between country music legends Tammy Wynette (Jessica Chastain) and George Jones (Michael Shannon). The series earned Chastain a Best Actress nomination at the Golden Globes.
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