Hurley broke actors' strike to film advert

The actress and model Liz Hurley is being investigated by America's main screen actors' union after inadvertently breaking a strike when filming a cosmetics advert.

The actress and model Liz Hurley is being investigated by America's main screen actors' union after inadvertently breaking a strike when filming a cosmetics advert.

Hurley appeared in the ad despite a ban by the Screen Actors Guild in America. The guild is in dispute with the advertising industry over payments for television commercials, and has banned its members from making ads.

During the 12-week dispute a number of sports stars, including the Olympic sprinter Michael Johnson, have defied the ban. But Hurley is the first British celebrity to become involved in the dispute.

Hurley claims she was not aware that the Estée Lauder shoot for the launch of a new European fragrance made her a strike-breaker. Her agent, Tracey Jacobs, said: "She was completely unaware of the situation because she doesn't live in America, and she is extremely apologetic about it. She is very supportive of her union."

A spokeswoman for Estée Lauder argued that the shoot did not contravene union rules as the advert would not be broadcast in the United States.

However, the union told Variety magazine it was investigating Hurley's case. If it decided to discipline her she could be fined or even expelled from the union.

The union wants to extend "pay per play" repeat payments for commercials from theprincipal networks to cable TV. Advertisers want to pay flatfees for both. Both sides are due to meet today.

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