Ex-Survivor deposition fuels furor

Testimony from an ex-Survivor contestant could ignite a firestorm in the current legal battle over the legitimacy of the show's competition and the credibility of its producers, Reuters reports.

Three months after former contestant Stacey Stillman sued CBS and producers of Survivor claiming the show was fixed, newly released correspondence and testimony from her fellow contestant Dirk Been that threatens to blow the lid off the case. In a sworn deposition last month, Been said he was persuaded to vote to oust Stillman off the CBS series at executive producer Mark Burnett's suggestion. Burnett's influence over contestants, Been said, "affected the outcome of the show in an unfair manner." Been also wrote in a letter to Burnett last May that he "felt cheap and used" after learning that "not everything was as it seemed" on the show and that Burnett had "swung votes" among players.

Burnett allegedly wanted to keep ex-Navy Seal Rudy Boesch on the mix because he appealed to older viewers. But Burnett has denied under oath that he or anyone else "ever attempted to manipulate, coerce, influence, direct, induce or intimidate" the players. The producers have counter-sued Stillman for defamation and breach of contract.