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Tuesday, 18 July, 2000, 18:24 GMT 19:24 UK
Hurley under fire from striking actors
Liz Hurley
Hurley could face fines and expulsion from the union
Actress and model Liz Hurley is the latest celebrity to be criticised for breaking a long-running strike by actors in America.

Hurley, who starred in the two Austin Powers movies, shot a TV advertisement despite a ban by the Screen Actors Guild union (SAG), reports Variety magazine.

But the British actress has insisted she was not aware that last week's Estee Lauder shoot - for the European launch of a new fragrance - made her a strike-breaker.

SAG is involved in a dispute with the advertising industry over residual payments for TV commercials and has banned its members from making ads.

'Extremely apologetic'

During the 12-week industrial action there have been a number of stars who have defied the ban.

They include Olympic sprinter, Michael Johnson, TV presenters, and prominent American football and basketball players.

But Hurley's agent, Tracey Jacobs, said of her client: "She was completely unaware of the situation because she doesn't live in this country and she is extremely apologetic about it."

Michael Johnson
Michael Johnson has remained defiant of the union
Jacobs added: "She is very supportive of her union."

SAG said it is now investigating Hurley's case. The actress could face fines and expulsion from the union.

Kim Cornell, a spokeswoman for Estee Lauder, argued that the shoot did not contravene union rules.

Cornell claimed that the strike has no bearing on the advert because it will not air in the US.

Members of the SAG are supported in their industrial action by members of the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists (AFTRA).

SAG and AFTRA want to extend "pay per play" residual payments for commercials from both the major networks to cable TV. Advertisers want to pay flat fees for both.

Unions and advertisers are scheduled to meet in New York on Thursday for possible resumption of negotiations.

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