Hollywood star Tom Cruise is at the centre of a "you're fired-I quit" row at Tinseltown's highest level.
On one side is Sumner Redstone, chairman of Viacom, which owns Paramount Pictures. On the other is the industry's biggest and most bankable star, whose last seven films have each generated over £55 million.
Redstone said Paramount will sever its relationship with Cruise/Wagner Productions, Cruise's company with producing partner Paula Wagner, saying Cruise's "recent conduct has not been acceptable".
But Wagner said agents for Cruise/Wagner Productions stopped negotiating with Paramount a week ago and since secured independent financing, effectively taking any deal off the table.
"For some reason, Paramount has chosen to negotiate in the press," Wagner said, calling the announcement "surprising". It's not really the most businesslike approach," she said. "We've had virtually no dealings with Mr Redstone."