***Alarming update from Piven's doctor below about his high mercury toxicity, the symptoms and the possible causes***
Jeremy Piven will abruptly end his run in Broadway's "Speed-the-Plow," after missing Tuesday evening's performance and a Wednesday matinee.
Piven has informed the producers that he hasn't been feeling well and that the condition is attributable to a high mercury count.
The show's producers weren't returning calls, but Daily Variety reached out to David Mamet, who wrote the showbiz satire and seemed skeptical of the reasons for Piven's departure.
More than one option
"I talked to Jeremy on the phone, and he told me that he discovered that he had a very high level of mercury," Mamet said. "So my understanding is that he is leaving show business to pursue a career as a thermometer."
"Entertainment Tonight" talked to Piven's doctor and will report on air:
Dr. Carlon Colker, a doctor who has been treating the SAG award nominee and Emmy award-winner, tells ET that Jeremy is disappointed that members of the production staff of 'Speed-the-Plow' and other members of the entertainment community have not rallied behind him during this health crisis.
The doctor says that Jeremy is suffering from extreme mercury toxicity. Colker tells ET that a major symptom of mercury poisoning is extreme fatigue. In addition, Jeremy began experiencing neuro-muscular dysfunction late last week, which led to extreme difficulty in lifting his arms and legs. Then, this past Sunday, he began feeling dizzy. Now, the doctors have ordered enforced rest. Jeremy spent three days in the hospital recently and the doctor tells us exclusively that he is no longer in New York.
Colker tells ET that Jeremy has been an avid sushi eater for many years, regularly eating sushi twice in one day. He notes that Jeremy has also taken certain Chinese herbs, and that, in combination with the frequent sushi consumption, could have led to these elevated mercury levels. He informs us that a test revealed that Jeremy had the highest level of mercury that he has ever seen, which amounts to six times a healthy amount of mercury, in his system.
More on the symptoms and causes of a High Mercury Count