Documents released on Tuesday, May 26 indicate that musician Billy Ray Cyrus, who is accused of plagiarizing the idea for his new CMT sitcom, “Still the King,” is no stranger to allegations of idea theft. Records obtained by atombash.com on Tuesday, May 26 indicate that Billy Ray Cyrus was sued for plagiarizing his biggest hit, “Achy Breaky Heart” in federal court, and settled the lawsuit for an undisclosed amount.
The lawsuit was cited by Jay Schorr, the South Florida writer who believes Cyrus – whom Schorr describes as a potential ‘serial idea thief’ – has struck again in the form of using Schorr’s screenplay as the idea for Cyrus’ CMT sitcom, which is slated to debut in early 2016. Schorr posted his allegations on his website on Tuesday, May 26
The allegations against Billy Ray Cyrus stem back to events in 2011 when screenwriter and South Florida political activist Jay Schorr was looking for a performer to star in his newly written movie entitled, “Elvis Came Back to Manage Me.” The comedic movie centers around Elvis Presley, the illegitimate, alcoholic country musician son Elvis Presley didn’t know he had, and a second chance at life for both of them in their newly found relationship.
Schorr sent his script to Billy Ray Cyrus back in 2011 after Cyrus requested it through his then manager Stuart Dill. Schorr said he tried for three months to follow-up with Dill to see how Dill and Cyrus liked the script. Neither Billy Ray Cyrus nor Dill got back to Schorr, according to Schorr’s email to atombash.com.
CMT announced on Thursday, April 2 it had picked up Cyrus’ sitcom, “Still The King,” which features Cyrus in the starring role as Vernon Brown, an alcoholic one-hit wonder turned Elvis Presley impersonator. When Brown crashes into a church, he’s ordered by a judge to do community service. Instead, Brown pretends to be the church’s new minister to avoid doing the community service. Along the way he discovers he has a 15-year-old daughter.
“When I first heard about Billy Ray Cyrus’ new CMT sitcom, I couldn’t believe that of all the characters he could have used, he chose Elvis Presley!” said Schorr. “And to hear his explanation as to how he allegedly came up with the idea … give me a break!”
At the television industry upfronts in New York last March, Billy Ray Cyrus claimed he came up the idea for “Still The King” for CMT while riding in his tour bus in the Gulf Coast region, because it reminded Cyrus that Elvis Presley performed in the area at the start of his career. Curiously, Cyrus also claimed that he came up with the idea for “Achy Breaky Heart” – a tune of which he was accused of plagiarizing – while riding in his pickup truck. According to Schorr, Billy Ray Cyrus seems to have a penchant for coming up with ideas in moving vehicles.
“The guy seems to be one big moving violation,” said Schorr. “Has Billy Ray Cyrus ever come up with an idea on his own while standing still?!”