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Piven defends Broadway exit

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Piven defends Broadway exit

Rex Features

Jeremy Piven has defended his decision to pull out of a Broadway play, insisting that his medical problems were genuine.

The Entourage star sparked criticism after withdrawing from Speed-The-Plow last month, claiming to be suffering from mercury poisoning.

However, the actor told Access Hollywood at last night's Golden Globes that, according to his doctor, his mercury level was six times higher than the upper limit of what is recommended.

"I'm grateful to be here," he said. "I was really humbled by that type of experience and if I were to try to break down to you what it was, it would sound to you like I’m being a Hollywood punk.

"It completely shuts you down. It feels like the heaviest bout of mono you've ever had in your life. You're kind of crippled from it.

"I fought the good fight, my doctors propped me up and then doctor’s orders was enforced rest. That's what I’ve been doing for a month and here I am. I'm doing so much better, I really am."

Last week it was reported that Speed-The-Plow's backers had launched an investigation into the circumstances of his exit.

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