Golden Globe winner Jeremy Piven, who was fired after abruptly leaving the Broadway play Speed the Plow, is slowly recuperating from mercury poisoning — he had six times the normal level of deadly mercury in his system, from eating sushi on a daily basis. The show’s backers are hoping to sue the actor for breach of contract, despite the fact that he came close to death. Piven, who is nominated for another Golden Globe this Sunday for his work on the TV series Entourage, is also the butt of a smear campaign — according to the New York Post, several top Broadway producers say that if Speed the Plow were their show, they’d go after Piven, with one threatening: “I’d kill the jerk.” Another said: “He’s destroyed his career in the theater.” The show’s playwright, David Mamet, also showed little concern for the actor’s health, telling Daily Variety: “I talked to Jeremy on the phone, and he told me that he discovered that he had a very high level of mercury. So my understanding is that he is leaving show business to pursue a career as a thermometer.” Studies conducted by Piven’s physician, Dr. Carlon Colker, showed unprecedented levels of mercury toxicity in his body. Colker said, “Any insensitive comments like that are not only unkind and unfair, they reflect a profound lack of understanding of a problem that can actually kill.” He said he stepped in and made “the decision for him to stop,” adding that Piven had wanted to continue working, even though his health was failing. Backers are demanding that another doctor run tests before they decide whether or not to sue. Piven was replaced onstage by Oscar nominee William H. Macy.