George & Tammy Lawsuit: Showtime Sued by Family of Tammy Wynette’s Fifth Husband for ‘Villainous’ Portrayal

The family of Tammy Wynette’s fifth husband George Richey has filed a lawsuit against Showtime, alleging that the network’s George & Tammy limited series disparaged Richey as a “villain.”

The suit was filed, our sister site Variety reports, on behalf of Richey’s wife Sheila Slaughter Richey and their daughter Tatum Keys Richey. (George Richey died in 2010.) The suit says that George & Tammy depicts Richey, played by Steve Zahn, “as a devious husband who abused Wynette and Richey’s prior wife, facilitated and encouraged Wynette’s addiction to prescription painkillers, and engaged in financial and managerial manipulation of Wynette.”

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Richey’s estate and Tammy Wynette’s daughter Georgette Jones had previously settled a lawsuit over Jones’ 2011 memoir, with Jones agreeing not to make any further disparaging remarks about George Richey or his family. Jones served as a consulting producer on George & Tammy, which is based on her memoir.

Showtime has issued a response to the lawsuit, stating through a spokesperson: “We see no plausible basis for any claim against Showtime.”

The six-part limited series George & Tammy debuted on Showtime in December 2022, starring Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain as country superstars George Jones and Tammy Wynette. The series was nominated for four Emmys, including acting nods for Shannon and Chastain, and Chastain won the Screen Actors Guild Award for best lead actress in a limited series.

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