Lawyer: ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ defamed me; suit seeks film’s removal from theaters

Posted at 11:45 AM, Feb 20, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-20 11:45:00-05

(CNN) — A lawyer who says he was defamed by his portrayal in “The Wolf of Wall Street” is demanding the Oscar-nominated film be removed from theaters.

Andrew Greene’s lawsuit is also asking for “in excess of” $25 million in damages from the filmmakers, who he said made him look like “a criminal, drug user, degenerate, depraved, and/or devoid of any morality or ethics.”

The movie, which is up for five Academy Awards, was based on the 2007 memoir by Jordon Belfort, the founder of the over-the-counter securities brokerage. Greene, a lifelong friend of Belfort, served as the firm’s head of corporate finance in the 1990s.

The federal lawsuit said it was “readily apparent” that the character Nicky “Rugrat” Koskoff, played by actor P.J. Byrne, was based on Greene.

“In one scene, Mr. Greene’s character is depicted shaving a woman’s head after Jordan Belfort’s character states the woman was offered $10,000,” the complaint said.

Another scene suggested that Greene’s character was arrested with a Swiss banker and that he arranged a meeting with the banker to help Belfort launder money, the suit said.

“Mr. Greene’s character is shown doing cocaine on company premises during business hours in another scene,” the suit said. “The motion picture included other scenes depicting Mr. Greene’s character in a reckless and depraved manner, including more than one scene wherein his character is depicted having sexual relations with a prostitute.”

Greene’s real-life nickname is “Wigwam,” because he often wears a hairpiece, the complaint said. It criticizes the film for mocking his toupee in an “egregiously offensive manner.”

The movie has “permanently damaged” Greene’s professional and personal reputation by portraying him as “a criminal and drug user with misogynistic tendencies.”

“Mr. Greene will be permanently linked to the crimes and loathsome behavior portrayed by his likeness in the motion picture, despite never having been interviewed, questioned, charged, imprisoned, or even arrested for the illicit and despicable behavior shown in the motion picture,” the complaint said.

Paramount Pictures did not immediately respond to CNN request for comment.

CNN’s Carolyn Sung contributed to this report.

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