As the network searches his replacement for El engaño, the media attribute his departure to diva behavior

By People Staff
Updated January 15, 2008

Venezuelan actor Fernando Carrillo has abandoned recordings for the upcoming Telemundo telenovela El engaño, a series that will star fellow Venezuelan, actress Gaby Espino. The news was confirmed in a press release from the network, and even though the motives behind his departure weren't explained, the Venezuelan media speculate that the actor's demands were beginning to conflict with his work.

Carrillo, 42, had signed a two-year exclusivity contract with Telemundo, whose parent company is NBC, but the actor's relationship with the network ended today. “Telemundo studios has made the creative decision to search for someone more in line with the show and its production needs,” a press release announced.

But the media in his country are telling a different story. Supposedly, the actor tried to organize a strike in favor of an eight-hour work day. The press also report that his star status was going to his head, as he was constantly asking for time off to travel and making demands for privileges not included in his contract.

It was also said that the actor was making $50,000 a month, on top of having his apartment, car, cell phone and a piano he requested paid for. None of these rumors have been confirmed. Of the actor, the network stated: “We wish Fernando the best in his future projects.”

At the end of 2007, the actor told the press he was “very content with the new experience, the character, not to mention the great production from Telemundo, NBC Universal and an excellent cast. I couldn't ask for a better cast, seriously. It's a great constellation of Mexican stars.”

And now for the questions: What will Carrillo do now, and who will replace him? Some rumors suggest that Peruvian actor Christian Meier could take his place.

“As soon as we have news of a replacement, we'll let you know,” ended the Telemundo statement.