Scott and Deirdre Gurney have been fired from Gurney Productions, the company behind A&E’s Duck Dynasty, as parent company ITV Studios has officially filed suit.
ITV Studios filed a new lawsuit Friday in L.A. County Superior Court, claiming the duo has been engaging in self-dealing and fraud in breach of their contract. The Gurneys founded the reality TV production company that in 2012 was purchased by ITV for $40 million.
According to the suit, when the Gurneys sold a majority interest in Gurney Productions to ITV they promised not to compete with the company as long as they were still employees. Their operating agreement gives ITV the right to buy out the Gurney’s retained membership interests — the price for which is based, in part, on the average EBITDA for the company.
According to the complaint, the Gurneys breached their deal by launching Snake River Productions, a company allegedly created to artificially inflate ITV’s net profits and drive up the price they would be paid for their remaining interest in the company.