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Myron Gottlieb is pictured outside a downtown Toronto courthouse in this file photo from Aug. 5, 2009.Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail

Myron Gottlieb coughs lightly and explains that he has a bad cold.

"That's the least of my problems," he added.

The 72-year-old former theatre mogul, who was sentenced to four years in prison after being convicted of fraud while president of Livent Inc., says he is now battling a form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma called follicular lymphoma. He has been told his cancer has reached Stage 4, the most advanced level, and he is undergoing chemotherapy treatments.

Yet even that is not the problem weighing on his mind as he speaks to a reporter. His concern is a courtroom battle, scheduled to be heard Tuesday in Toronto, in a mysterious legal case involving a lawsuit filed by accounting firm KPMG LLP against Mr. Gottlieb.

Owing to a publication ban, Mr. Gottlieb is prohibited from talking about it. He cannot explain why KPMG is suing him, what the issues are in the case, or even why KPMG sought and received a blanket seal on the file. The injunction not only prohibits disclosure of any information about the case, but also prohibits members of the public from being in the courtroom.

All he can talk about is why he will be in Ontario Superior Court Tuesday in Toronto before Justice Ruth Mesbur to argue to have the injunction lifted prior to the scheduled launch of the trial on Nov. 30, where he will represent himself. He says he has no desire to keep the case secret.

"The open court principle is an incredibly important principle in our society and the open court should apply to all judicial proceedings," he said. "This openness is tied to freedom of expression pursuant to the Charter [of Rights and Freedoms]. So I very strenuously believe the trial should be open to the public."

KPMG's lawyer, Norm Emblem, said he cannot reveal why KPMG sought the privacy order because it would require explaining the nature of the case.

"In a nutshell, it would completely undermine the nature of the relief that was sought in the action," Mr. Emblem said.

Livent staged live theatre shows and produced hits such as Phantom of the Opera and Show Boat before collapsing in 1998 after new owners raised concerns about accounting problems at the company.

Mr. Gottlieb and Livent co-founder Garth Drabinsky were convicted of fraud in 2009, and Mr. Gottlieb received a six-year sentence, which was reduced to four years on appeal. He served 11 months in jail and was released on day parole in 2012 and full parole in 2013.

KPMG's lawsuit against Mr. Gottlieb is not the firm's first legal tangle with the former Livent president. Mr. Gottlieb filed a lawsuit against KPMG and other parties back in 2006, alleging they conspired to falsely accuse him of fraud at the company. KPMG had been hired by Livent in 1998 to investigate concerns about accounting irregularities.

The Ontario Court of Appeal struck down Mr. Gottlieb's lawsuit in 2009, ruling it could not be heard before the resolution of a criminal trial over the same fraud. As a result, Mr. Gottlieb said he abandoned the case.

Because of the disclosure ban, it is unclear whether KPMG's current lawsuit against Mr. Gottlieb is somehow connected to the older action.

After all the publicity surrounding his criminal trial in 2008 and 2009, it would not have been surprising if Mr. Gottlieb had welcomed a publication ban on his latest legal issue.

But he said he feels there is little left about the Livent case that hasn't already been aired publicly through the lengthy trial process. There is no reason to have a publication ban to protect his privacy, he said.

"It's public record. I was charged, convicted, I served my time and I've paid my dues to society, so to speak," he said. "But that was open. And from my perspective, what I have to say is in the public interest. The information which KPMG is seeking to silence me for is for the most part already in the public domain."

Since his release from jail, Mr. Gottlieb said he has done a bit of work as a business consultant, but has been busy dealing with his cancer this year.

He had his most recent round of chemotherapy 10 days ago, and said he has little energy and his immune system is damaged. He's been told the cancer is not curable, but he hopes it can be held at bay so that he can continue to remain active.

Asked why he doesn't ask for a delay in his legal case because of his health issues, he said he doesn't know whether he will be well enough in the future to deal with the matter.

"The problem is I have enough energy to deal with this now, and I don't know if that will be the case six months from now or a year from now, and that's very troubling to me," he said. "I just want to see this through now, while I can."