CBS now has two enemies: the first is, of course, Charlie Sheen, but the second one (as of Friday) is Bret Michaels. Last week, Bret filed a lawsuit against the network when his Rock of Ages performance at the 2009 Tony Awards resulted in a broken nose and stitches in his lip. When the incident initially occurred, Michaels’ representative — Joann Mignano — told the Associated Press that Michaels was hit in the head by a piece of scenery that was being lowered down, but clarified that the injuries her client sustained weren’t because he had “missed his mark.” Instead, Mignano insisted that Bret’s injuries were, in fact, CBS’ fault because they had not informed him of the specifics of the set’s descent. In a statement on behalf of Michaels, Mignano said (once again, way back in 2009), “If everyone at the Tonys [was] aware that Bret missed his mark, then they should have been aware enough to stop the set piece from hitting him or at least slowed it down until he cleared the stage. I feel had this incident happened to Liza Minnelli, Dolly Parton or Elton John, the Tonys would have at least issued a letter of concern…In this situation Bret was not on his stage but was at the mercy of the Tonys…and had the reasonable expectation of safety of the artist was a priority.”
In Bret’s lawsuit, he claims producers were unwilling to accept any responsibility for the mishap and instead, placed all the blame on him. The lawsuit also suggests the subarachnoid hemorrhage Bret suffered in April of 2010 was caused by his collision with the set piece at the Tonys, and says “One of the most common causes of this type of hemorrhage is head trauma — exactly like the one Michaels suffered at the hands of the Tony Awards.” While there’s no word on how much money Michaels is seeking in damages, Bret’s team claims he was not informed of the dangers the set piece posed, and he was not given instructions as to how he could properly exit the stage, even though he asked. On the lawsuit, Michaels’ lawyer, Alex Weingarten, said “The Tony Awards dropped a piece of stage on Bret’s head, and then instead of doing the right thing, joked about it and played it off for ratings…Bret never wanted to file a lawsuit, but the Tony Awards have left us with no choice. They must be held accountable for almost killing Bret, and that is what we are going to do.”
All I can say is the girls on all those Rock of Love buses better get their stories straight because they’re probably guilty of a lot worse than a rogue backdrop.