LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - “Live Free or Die Hard” actor Bruce Willis has sued a Malaysian prince and his company over a $2 million investment in “green rubber” the actor wants returned.
Prince Imran Ibni Tuanku Ja‘afar and Datuk Vinod B. Sekhar, principals of environmental technology company The Petra Group, have repaid Willis $1.1 million of the original amount.
But Willis said the pair have falsely claimed to have wired $900,000 they still owe him and made “specious excuses” about when it would be returned, according to the lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles and made public on Friday.
The actor said he was induced to invest in the recycled rubber compound because he believed former Vice President Al Gore, actor Mel Gibson and “Braveheart” director Bruce Davey had invested “substantial sums” in the company.
Sekhar said Willis stood to make “a huge profit” in an initial public offering of Petra subsidiary Elastomer Technologies, which had been set for the third quarter of 2008, the suit said.
Sekhar, Ja‘afar and The Petra Group would guarantee Willis’ investment and give him a put option that allowed him to withdraw his money, the lawsuit said.
But when Willis tried to take his money out of the company nearly a year later -- with no IPO in sight -- Sekhar and Ja‘afar refused to return it, the suit said.
A Petra Group spokesman could not be reached for comment.
Willis claims damages of $900,000 plus 10 percent annual interest.
Reporting by Gina Keating; editing by Todd Eastham