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The Hollywood Foreign Press Association says a lawsuit filed by a former Golden Globes publicist alleging "payola schemes" is "completely without merit."

"This is no more than the case of a disgruntled former consulting firm, whose contract was not renewed, attempting to take advantage once again of the Globes' international stage for their own gain," the HFPA said in a statement.

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Michael Russell filed a $2 million lawsuit against the organization behind the Golden Globes on Thursday. The suit alleges breach of contract, defamation and fraud over the association's firing of Russell and his partner after the awards show last year. It also claims that many of the HFPA members "abuse their positions and engage in unethical and potentially unlawful deals and arrangements," according to The Associated Press.

No specific examples of a studio or producer paying for a nomination or award were provided.

The 68th annual Golden Globe Awards airs Sunday at 8/5 PT on NBC.