A man who worked for Merv Griffin and says they were lovers sued Griffin for half the profits from "Wheel of Fortune" and other businesses, claiming the game-show tycoon broke a promise to support him.

Griffin called the lawsuit "a shameless attempt to extort money from me."Brent Plott, 39, of Miami said he suffered emotional distress and illness when their alleged relationship ended. Plott filed a breach of contract lawsuit Thursday contending Griffin promised to support him for life.

The lawsuit seeks more than $400,000, said Miami attorney Ellis Rubin.

"I am outraged that a financially troubled former employee would resort to such an action," Griffin said in a statement.

Plott maintains he was Griffin's companion, confidant, secretary, driver and personal adviser. He claimed to have managed many of Griffin's business deals, including development of the popular television game show.

Griffin described Plott as a former bodyguard and horse trainer who was paid $250 a week and lived in one of two apartments at Griffin's former Los Angeles house. He said Plott left his payroll six or seven years ago.