CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (CN) — A federal judge ruled Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio must testify in a $25 million federal case filed by a Long Island man claiming “The Wolf of Wall Street” mocked him and his toupee.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven Locke on Thursday ordered the “Titanic” and “The Revenant” actor to “be produced for his deposition at a reasonable time and place agreed to by the parties.”
Andrew Greene, of Huntington Station, N.Y., sued Paramount in February 2014, claiming the “The Wolf of Wall Street” falsely portrayed him as a “criminal, a drug user and a degenerate.” Red Granite Pictures Inc., Appian Way LLC and Sikella Productions are also named as defendants.
The former executive at Stratton Oakmont, a famed and monied Wall Street firm, says the fictional character in the movie named Nicky “Rugrat” Koskoff uses his toupee-wearing “likeness, image and characterization” without permission. P.J. Byrne played the character.
Greene alleges that several scenes in the movie were “fundamentally injurious” to his “professional reputation both as an attorney and as an investment banker/venture capitalist as well as his personal reputation.”
The movie opened on Christmas Day 2013 as a fictionalized telling of the trading exploits of Jordan Belfort, who founded the brokerage firm before being indicted on securities fraud and money laundering charges in 1998.
In his lawsuit, Greene, who says he often wore a toupee, took umbrage to the fact that in several scenes in the movie, Rugrat’s use of a toupee “is accentuated and mocked in an egregiously offensive manner.”
He also takes issue that the character is introduced with a reference to his “piece-of-shit hairpiece.”
Martin Scorsese’s 2013 movie also contains various scenes wherein Koskoff is portrayed as “depraved, and/or devoid of any morality or ethics,” which suggests he orchestrated off-shore money deals, snorted cocaine and hired prostitutes, Greene claims.
Greene says he never consented to use his image and characterization in the movie. He seeks $50 million for defamation and privacy claims.
DiCaprio won a Golden Globe for his role as Belfort. In 2016, the 41-year-old finally won an Oscar for “The Revenant” after being nominated six times. He was first nominated in 1993 as a 19-year-old for his role in “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.”
DiCaprio, who starred in the blockbuster film “The Aviator,” is also known for being the add-in scamp in the TV sitcom “Growing Pains” in the 1980s.
Locke had little to say about his decision to compel DiCaprio to testify, other than to grant requests from Greene’s attorneys to compel the actor’s deposition.
Greene is represented by Stephanie Ovadia of Syosset, N.Y., and Aaron Goldsmith in Manhattan.
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