Leonardo DiCaprio, to testify in lawsuit

Investment banker Andrew Greene is planning to sue Paramount pictures for 35 million, claiming that a character from 2013’s The Wolf of Wall Street, Nicky ‘Rugrat’ Koskof, known for engaging in illegal and morally questionable acts, is actually based on him, something which defames his image.

In the film, Koskof, played by PJ Byrne, is one of Jordan Belfort’s closest friends and it’s depicted as “a criminal and drug user with misogynistic tendencies”, according to Greene. In The Wolf of Wall Street, the character had to shave a woman’s head, do drugs and simulate sex with a prostitute, aspects which made the banker consider filing the lawsuit against Paramount.

“The motion picture’s scenes concerning Mr Greene were false, defamatory, and fundamentally injurious to Mr Greene’s professional reputation, both as an attorney and as an investment banker/venture capitalist, as well as his personal reputation,” the suit says.

On the other side, the production studios claim that the character is absolutely fictional and there was ‘no reasonable fact finder could claim that “Nicky” was a recognisable likeness of Andrew Greene.’

If director Martin Scorsese has been deposed, it seems that Academy award winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio will eventually have to be present in court, if he will be called up, according to a statement released this week by U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven Locke.

Like expected, DiCaprio’s lawyers opposed the request, saying that their client had no implication in writing the screenplay or directing the film. Also, they claim that the lawsuit doesn’t allege that the actor provided defamatory content for the production or eventually had a role in deciding to include defamatory content.

DiCaprio will indeed join court if Andrew Green will manage to explain why he thinks that the actor had knowledge about the issues raised in the lawsuit, which initially asked for 15 million and was rejected. In the meantime, a judge has permitted Greene to amend the case. Currently, his claims are that the filmmakers “maliciously libeled” him, changing his nickname from “Wigwam” to “Rugrat”.

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Mark Hines

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