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Lawyer sues The Wolf of Wall Street for $25m over 'depraved' character portrayal

Andrew Greene claims the movie has 'permanently damaged' his reputation

Jess Denham
Friday 21 February 2014 12:36
Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill in a scene from The Wolf of Wall Street
Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill in a scene from The Wolf of Wall Street

Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street is embroiled in a $25 million legal case after a man sued the film for presenting him as a “depraved” and “misogynistic” criminal.

Andrew Greene has taken action against the Oscar-nominated black comedy, based on the rise and fall of hedonistic New York stockbroker Jordan Belfort, who ended up serving 22 months in prison.

Greene was head of corporate finance at Belfort’s firm Stratton Oakmont in the 1990s and claims PJ Byrne’s role as minor character Nicky 'Rugrat' Koskoff has ruined his reputation. Greene alleges the filmmakers changed his nickname 'Wigwam' to 'Rugrat'.

“The motion picture contains various scenes wherein Mr Greene’s character is portrayed as a criminal, drug user, degenerate, depraved and/or devoid of any morality or ethics,” the lawsuit reads.

Greene, whose full legal name is mentioned in Belfort’s original memoir, insists that his characterisation in The Wolf of Wall Street was designed without his permission. His toupee-wearing character is seen snorting cocaine during business hours, shaving a woman's head, having sex with a prostitute and plotting to launder money.

The lawsuit continues: "Mr Greene will be permanently linked to the crimes and loathsome behaviour portrayed by his likeness in the motion picture, despite never having been interviewed, questioned, charged, imprisoned, or even arrested for the illicit and despicable behaviour shown in the motion picture."

The businessman has filed a publicity rights and defamation claim against the movie’s creators, arguing that as he has suffered “ permanent damage” at their hands, the film should be removed from cinemas.

Paramount Pictures and Red Granite Pictures are yet to comment on Andrew Greene's case.

The Wolf of Wall Street, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill and Margot Robbie, is nominated for five Oscars ahead of the ceremony on Sunday 2 March.

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