Drug Agents Sue Over American Gangster Depiction
A group of retired federal drug enforcement agents are suing the studio behind RUSSELL CROWE and DENZEL WASHINGTON's hit new movie AMERICAN GANGSTER, claiming they're portrayed as bad guys in the film. The class action suit, filed in Manhattan, New York on Wednesday (16Jan08), alleges the movie, based on the real life battle to bring 1970s drug boss Frank Lucas to justice, has defamed hundreds of DEA agents and police officers. They're upset with information given out at the end of the film, which suggests a deal Lucas struck with his arresting detective led to the convictions of three-quarters of New York City's Drug Enforcement Agency. According to the lawsuit, filed by former DEA agents Jack Toal, Gregory Korniloff and Louis Diaz on behalf of themselves and 400 colleagues, no agent or police official was ever convicted as a result of tips provided by Lucas. Dominic Amorosa, a prosecutor in the federal case against Lucas who now represents the agents, says, "I don't know what these people (movie bosses) were thinking, but they are going to pay for it." In a written statement from the film studio NBC Universal, a spokesman determines the lawsuit is "entirely without merit."