New York Post

October 20, 2016

Off-Broadway producer accused of ripping off playwright’s work

Emily Saul

A playwright is accusing noted off-Broadway producer Jonathan Rockefeller of fraud, claiming his newest puppet-production “That Golden Girls Show! A Puppet Parody!” is a blatant rip-off of his work.

“Actual comedic script writer” Thomas Duncan-Watt of Australia alleges in a new $11 million Manhattan lawsuit that Rockefeller — the creator of the award-nominated puppet show “A Very Hungry Caterpillar” — is “hiding a dark secret.”

“Duncan-Watt, not Rockefeller, conceived the idea for TGGS,” the civil-court papers read, adding that Rockefeller “does not have the creative talent or technical skill to write such a script.”

The show first opened in Australia, which allowed Rockefeller to misguide American audiences and steal his show, according to the documents.

Rockefeller, nee Worsley, married a distant relative of the illustrious family in 2014, and then started distancing himself from Duncan-Watt because he now “had money,” the complaint says.

The costly suit, which cites defamation, fraud, breach of contract, breach of licensing agreement, and other actions, also wants to court to end TGGS’s run –and make Rockefeller publicly admit he’s a thief.

TGGS opened on Sept. 18, to mixed reviews.

We strongly deny these claims and we look forward to vindication in court,” Rockefeller said in a statement.

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