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Gabrielle Union is suing BET over 'Being Mary Jane' contract

By Wade Sheridan
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Gabrielle Union is suing BET over 'Being Mary Jane' contract
Gabrielle Union attends the premiere of the motion picture drama "The Birth of a Nation" on September 21, 2016. Union is suing BET for breach of contract. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- Gabrielle Union is suing BET up to $1million for a breach of contract and negligent misrepresentation over her hit series, Being Mary Jane.

According to court documents obtained by Entertainment Tonight that were filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Country Superior Court, Union's attorney Marty Singer alleges that the network is attempting to film two 10-episode seasons of the show back-to-back in order to "fraudulently extend the term" of her contract.

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"BET has no right to refuse to honor its representation and assurances to Plaintiffs that no season of the series would have more than 13 episodes and to manipulate the shooting schedule for the series in this manner in order to avoid paying Plaintiffs the compensation they are owed," Singer says in the documents.

In a statement to E! News, Singer explains, "We filed this lawsuit because of BET's outrageous conduct toward its No. 1 star on its highest rated show."

BET has responded to the lawsuit in their own statement noting, "While we hold Gabrielle Union in the highest esteem, we feel strongly that we are contractually well within our rights and are committed to reaching a swift and positive resolution in this matter."

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Previously, Season 1 of Being Mary Jane aired eight episodes with Season 2 airing 12 and Season 3 consisting of 10. The actress' deal is said to not have any season extend past 13 episodes so that she could continue her film pursuits.

Union was set to receive $150,000 per episode for Season 4 and $165,000 for Season 5 under the original agreement. She is seeking damages of at least $1 million and for the contract to be amended to reflect her desire for there to only be 13 episodes a season.

Union last made headlines Tuesday when she explained to moviegoers in the latest issue of Essence magazine that it's okay to skip out on her latest film Birth of a Nation due to the rape controversy surrounding its director and star Nate Parker.

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