Liza Minnelli is suing cable music channel VH1 for canceling her planned reality series before it even aired.
In a lawsuit filed Monday in New York state court, Minnelli and her husband, producer David Gest, ask for more than $10 million in damages from VH1 and MTV Networks, units of Viacom Inc., as well as Viacom itself.
The high-profile couple said that VH1 breached their contract to do the show and that an anonymous Viacom employee defamed Gest in an interview.
A spokeswoman for VH1 and MTV Networks declined to comment. A Viacom spokesman was not immediately available for comment.
According to the suit, Gest and Minnelli agreed to make 10 one-hour episodes for up to four seasons.
The suit said the couple were paid $100,000 on July 18, as an advance on a $1.25 million fee for the first season and that production began Oct. 1.
On Oct. 21, Minnelli and Gest said they held a dinner party and concert at their home for purposes of the show. However, they claim, a VH1 producer told Gest he would cancel the show if certain artists were not included on the concert program.
On Oct. 29, the suit said, the show was canceled.
Then in mid-November, the suit alleges, an unnamed Viacom employee defamed Gest in an interview with the New York Post by calling him a "control freak" and "impossible to work with," among other things.
In a statement in October, the network, in explaining why the show was canceled, said, "We were not given the cooperation and access that we were promised."
The show was to have featured musical performances, dinner parties with the couple's celebrity friends and inside looks at their high-society lives.