Bret Michaels files lawsuit against CBS, Tonys for 2009 injury


Image Credit: Michael Tran/

News that is so not rock and roll for CBS and the Tonys: Bret Michaels filed a lawsuit Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court against the network and the Awards, stemming from his on-stage injury during a Rock of Ages-inspired performance at the 2009 Tony Awards. In the suit, Michaels claims he asked producers whether there were any instructions as to where he should stand on the stage during his performance, but was only told to “simply exit the stage from the rear.” After singing “Nothin’ But a Good Time” — one of the songs used in Broadway’s Rock of Ages — the Poison rocker was hit by a piece of stage scenery. (Michaels had to check into the hospital for X-rays and stitches after suffering a broken nose and cut lip.) Says the suit, “Michaels was never told that the scenery piece would be descending or given any warning of the existence of the dangers it presented. Quite the opposite, Michaels specifically asked for instructions regarding how to exit after his performance and was just told to walk off the rear of the stage — in what was ultimately the danger zone.”

In the suit, Michaels, who is seeking unspecified damages, also claims the producers faulted him for the mix-up, telling press that he had “missed his mark.” The suit also connects the Tonys injury with Michaels’ well-publicized subarachnoid hemorrhage, which proved to be nearly fatal for the musician. “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.” CBS is not commenting on the suit; the Tonys have yet to respond to EW’s request for comment. (UPDATE: Michaels’ lawyer, Alex Weingarten, issued the following statement to press regarding the suit: “The Tony Awards dropped a piece of the 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.”)

Read more:
Bret Michaels’ Tony Awards mishap: A crash course in live theater
Bret Michaels broke nose, got stitches from Tony Awards mishap
Bret Michaels stabilized after suffering brain hemorrhage
Bret Michaels blames ‘Busty Cops’ for stroke


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  • hipster

    Shouldn’t CBS/Tonys be filing lawsuit against Bret Michaels because the job wasn’t finished?

    • @hipster

      Finish the job? What are you talking about?

  • John C.

    The Tonys I mean. Don’t know if the award is named after a guy named Tony. Don’t care.

    • Templar

      The Tonys are more properly named The Antoinette Perry awards.

  • Templar

    Bored with Bret Michaels. Buh-bye.

  • Fortune

    be thankful for your health and that mtv/vh1 keeps you around douche

    • Teddy

      He’s just embarrassed because it happened on the Tonys. If it happened on the MTV VMAs, he’d think it was the coolest thing ever.

  • c.

    If you watch,the reason he was injured is because he missed his cue to exit thinking the crowd was cheering for him and he had to arrogantly wave for several seconds after his cue to leave(Stockard Channing had just appeared as Poison was leaving,therefore I think that’s what enthused most of the crowd).One of the top rules of theater safety:don’t miss your cue or bad things can happen.Watch the video on YouTube, his fault,not the Tonys.

    • c.

      “Michaels was never told that the scenery piece would be descending or given any warning of the existence of the dangers it presented. Quite the opposite, Michaels specifically asked for instructions regarding how to exit after his performance and was just told to walk off the rear of the stage — in what was ultimately the danger zone.” leads me to think two things happened here. 1) he’s lying. You don’t just bring in a complicated set piece and use it for the first time during a live professional performance (this IS Broadway people, even “Spider-Man” “tests” their crap before anyone uses it in a live performance). 2)The set piece was there the whole time, and he didn’t show up to rehearsals. If anyone in the legal system has sense they will understand this, and he will lose.

      • kevin

        in an interview right after he said he missed his cue and he wasnt were he was in rehersal. He is trying to milk it now that his extra 15 minutes of fame from his health problems has ran out. He spent all his 80’s money on drugs and ex wives. He is lookin to keep his name in the news and some spending money.

    • namor

      you are correct!

    • brandon


  • cheese

    maybe he should have done this in 2009…

    • Meg

      exactly my thought. Obviously the media attention has dried up–he’s done with Celebrity Apprentice, doesn’t really need to go on Dr. Drew Rehab, has a family so that’s negated Rock/Bus of STD (wait, I mean love?), so what else can do to make money?
      All joking matters aside, I’m glad he’s doing all right health-wise.

      • namor

        yes, just another lame attempt to keep his lame self in the media! what a loser.

  • Jake

    As someone who attended the Tonys that year for both the show and the rehearsal. Bret had no issues during the first non-televised run through that happened RIGHT BEFORE the live show during the opening credits, but when the live performance was happening bret decided to take a second and wave to the audience(cameras) causing him to miss his mark. That wall came down the first time he did it so he knew it would be there the second time. This is his fault not the Tony’s also if you want to not appear desperate maybe you shouldn’t wait 2 years to file a lawsuit

    • Anna Nicole’s Howard Stern

      Sometimes you wait a while before filing a lawsuit so you can list all of your injuries, some injuries do not appear until months or years after the original incident. That is why there is a statute of limitations or “must sue by” date.

      • Lady of Argonne

        Or you wait until your hair has grown long enough so that the part that will show drug abuse has grown out.

        Or you wait until you are not in the spotlight any more and use it to promote yourself.

        He has lawyers. I’m sure they were all over it from day one.

      • Mr. P

        Or, you wait this long because you’re recovering from a serious illness possibly caused by the injury.

  • namor

    buy him a new rug, but only if he promises to go away forever!

  • namor

    this guy and his band never were real rock and roll; just a bunch of pantie waist-ed posers.

  • Craig

    And why exactly does he takes almost 2 years to bring this up?

  • Lady of Argonne

    Was the accident caused by the Tony’s mistiming? Or did Michaels miss his cue because he was high?

  • slb

    more than likely his drug use was a major factor. probably the only factor.

  • namor

    give the little girl a kotex and send her home!

  • anon

    Is he really suing CBS because he’s buddies with Charlie Sheen???????????

  • DLM

    Most celebs don’t put out this much noise to get attention! The man just needs to buck up his pride and take like a man, a REAL gentleman.

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