A man who claims NBC Universal, Donald Trump and the creator of NBC’s “The Apprentice” stole his idea has settled his lawsuits in state and federal court, his attorney said.
Mark Bethea alleged he and Velocity Entertainment Group came up with the idea for an unscripted series called “C.E.O.” that would have been hosted by Trump and set in a corporate office environment.
Bethea claimed he pitched the idea to Mark Burnett, producer of “Survivor,” and his partner, Conrad Riggs, in 2001 and they later lifted “substantial and integral material” from the proposal.
NBC and Trump were named as defendants because they profited from the show.
(MSNBC is a joint venture of NBC and Microsoft.)
Bethea’s attorney, Ronald Makarem, said Monday that the lawsuits in Los Angeles Superior Court and U.S. District Court were settled recently, but declined to disclose terms of the settlement.
An NBC spokeswoman did not return a message left after hours Monday.
Burnett had disputed Bethea’s claims in the federal lawsuit filed in September 2004. He said he came up with the concept for “The Apprentice” in December 2002, while shooting “Survivor” in the Brazilian rain forest.
Bethea claimed he registered his concept for the show with the Writers Guild of America in August 2000.