CHANNEL Ten has hit back at claims made today about a bitter legal war brewing between the network and former I'm A Celebrity campmate Tom Arnold.
Entertainment reporter Peter Ford revealed the story on the Kyle and Jackie O show this morning, claiming the dispute is over $US140,000 which Ten reportedly refuses to pay Arnold for his work on the show, and scrapped plans for a comedy tour of Australia.
However, Ten has shot down Arnold's accusations, declaring them "unfounded and misleading."
"Network Ten will not discuss the terms of a confidential agreement that was signed by Tom Arnold after legal and PR advice was provided to him, but we can confirm that Ten does not owe him any money under our agreement with him and we have made all payments owing to him.
"Any suggestion that Ten has not acted in good faith is unfounded and misleading. Tom Arnold's only agreement with Ten was for his appearance in I'm A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here!.
"Ten understands that Tom Arnold's agent and lawyer were exploring a tour option for him, however, due to his performance in the jungle, the tour operator declined to proceed with the tour."
But Ford says the comedian had a very different interpretation of the contract.
"Tom Arnold believes he was working under a 'pay or play' contract, which means you get paid no matter what," he told the KIIS FM hosts.
"If you're doing a TV show and it gets cancelled, or if you get voted off, they've still gotta pay you."
However, as he explained, Ten "clearly believes that's not what the deal was."
"They have paid Tom, so far, an amount of $US270,000," Ford said.
"Let's be clear about this. There's been various figures floating around - Tom Arnold was being paid $US410,000 to take part in I'm A Celebrity."
That's a large sum of money to most people, but according to the reporter, it was less than Arnold would have earned if he'd stayed in the US and accepted a different job offer.
"According to people that know him [Arnold], he could have gotten more if he'd been around to do a Superbowl TV commercial - one day's work," Ford said.
"But he wanted to do I'm A Celebrity because he'd been promised - according to insiders - a comedy tour of Australia for midyear."
Arnold now believes Ten has "completely reneged" on that after "promising to organise it for him."
"He feels very, very ripped off by what happened," explained Ford.
Arnold's pay has been a consistently in the spotlight since his departure from the jungle.
The funnyman, who was the first person voted out of the show, surprised many when he responded to a fan's tweet last month asking what had convinced him to sign up for I'm A Celeb.
"$600k-$700k," he replied, saying he was "Out of comfort zone. Scared. Embarrassed" on the show.
After a statement from Network Ten saying they were "contractually unable" to counter "inflated figures thrown around by celebrities," Arnold then tweeted that his earlier claims were just a joke.
"Was joking. I don't even [sic] what I got. and it's a violation for anyone to seriously discuss. I got $1 for every maggot I ate so could be close," he wrote.
"Jerks brag about salaries. Dad told me that so he didn't have 2 give allowance but It was already in paper. Still classless move. I'm sorry," he continued.
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