Stuntman loses case against Oliver Reed

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The Independent Online
A FORMER stuntman yesterday lost his High Court action for damages against the actor, Oliver Reed, who he claimed injured him during drunken horseplay while filming on location in the Seychelles, writes James Cusick.

Mr Justice Owen dismissed an action for damages by Reg Prince, in which he alleged Mr Reed, 55, deliberately tipped him over a restaurant balustrade during a break in shooting the film Castaway more than seven years ago.

The stuntman, who claimed the back injury he suffered ended his career, had been one of Mr Reed's best friends, acting as stand-in and, some believed, his 'minder'.

But, in 1986, during the filming of Castaway, starring Mr Reed and Amanda Donohue, the friendship ended after a Sunday drinking binge went out of control.

The judge said that what exactly occurred then had to be discovered 'through the mists and vapours of drink'. And drink was a 'notorious enemy of sense, manners and memory'.

Mr Prince alleged that Mr Reed had thrown him off the pier of La Reserve restaurant. He had fallen 10 or 11 feet on to the beach, fracturing his back. He blamed Mr Reed, but not straight away. The judge asked 'Why not?' He suggested this was because there was no justifiable complaint.

Mr Reed's version of events - that he had been attacked by the stuntman brandishing a knife, sidestepped him, and Mr Prince went over - was also questioned.

John 'Ginger' Hughes, the third member of the drinking party, had told the court that all three were 'pizzled'. The judge said no one was lying, but 'three men out for lunch and you get childish behaviour'.

After the case, Mr Reed said he felt sad. 'I've lost a good friend.' However, he did not rule out a reconciliation.

Dear Ollie, page 19