Director Michael Polish is facing legal action for allegedly assaulting a male crewmember on location in Montana last year (2020).
Art director Jack Renner claims he arrived on the set of a Polish project called Bring on the Dancing Horses in the autumn, and he soon became engaged in a conversation about dogs with the filmmaker.
According to court papers filed in a court in Butte, Michael Polish then made a comment about “always packing heat” as he raised the topic of shooting canines that bite, forming his hand into the shape of a gun to illustrate his point.
The Big Sur filmmaker allegedly then lost his temper with Jack Renner and attacked him, throwing him to the ground before raging, “Get off my f**king show, you f**ker!” Renner claims his head hit the ground as he fell, and he was helped up to his feet by Polish’s actress wife, Kate Bosworth.
Michael Polish is also accused of screaming at Renner’s wife, who had been recruited as the COVID safety coordinator on set, as the pair left and returned to its hotel room.
They subsequently received a visit from the show’s production supervisor, who insisted he would “fix” the situation and urged them not to discuss the altercation with anyone, but Renner later reported the incident to local police. He also called for an ambulance and was taken to a local hospital for treatment for his head wound, reports Variety.
Jack Renner alleges his actions prompted the production supervisor to call his wife and verbally abuse the pair, claiming the couple was “no one” and Polish and Bosworth were “kings”. He is quoted as saying, “You deserved it. It doesn’t matter if (you) did nothing wrong. You are wrong.”
Renner spent the night in the hospital and was diagnosed with an injury to his lower back, which has since caused him further health issues and hampered his ability to continue working as an art director.
Both he and his wife were fired from the project, and they are suing for assault and breach of contract.
However, Michael Polish’s attorney has since pushed back at the lawsuit, insisting Renner was the one who tried to attack the director, and then attempted to negotiate a settlement.
“The nonsense lawsuit filed by Jack Renner is simply his latest desperate attempt to take advantage of those who welcomed him with open arms into the production of Bring On The Dancing Horses in the middle of a global pandemic – despite his propensity for engaging in inappropriate and intoxicated conduct during the course of the production.
“Since his pre-lawsuit efforts to extract a quick settlement from Michael Polish failed miserably, he has now resorted to filing this baseless case, in which he claims that he was somehow harmed by his own off-set, after-hours attempt to assault Mr. Polish – an incident which reflected so horribly on Mr. Renner that he ultimately quit the production the very next day.
“Mr. Polish looks forward to disposing of Mr. Renner’s frivolous claims once and for all in a court of law.” (MT/WNVAR/LOT)