Maybe it's time Bruce Willis ought to call in The Expendables.
He helped to promote Sobieski Vodka in the U.S. and the Hollywood star is seeking to recoup what he believes its parent company, Bélvèdere SA, owes him for his services before it undergoes a major restructuring of nearly $1 billion in debt.
Per the Wall Street Journal, lawyers for the 57-year-old Willis met today with Bélvèdere creditors in Paris to work out a deal whereby he'll be paid a small part of the approximately $26 million fee that the company promised him for lending his celebrity name.
However, the Die Hard star—who in his early days used to be a bartender—will almost assuredly lose his 2.6 percent stake in Bélvèdere as a result of the financial straits the beverage firm finds itself in.
Bélvèdere tapped Willis to star in its TV ads and appear at various promotional parties in 2009. Sales subsequently soared from 70,000 cases in 2008 to one million nine-liter cases by 2010.
Alas, the high didn't last, and thanks to a heavy debt burden as the result of a decision to buy a French rival, Bélvèdere's stock tumbled.
According to the report, a court-appointed administrator has offered Willis the choice of getting a third of his approximately $26 million now, or spread the payment out over seven years.
No word what the thesp will decide. A rep for Willis declined to comment.