TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Former DEA Agents Sue Over "American Gangster"

DEA agents have filed a class action defamation suit against NBC Universal alleging defamation in the Denzel Washington film American Gangster.  The film (which I have not seen), while primarily a work of fiction, is admittedly based on actual events in the drug wars in New York.  The movie's ending is primarily what the agents object to:

As the final credits roll on the flick starring Denzel Washington as Harlem drug thug Frank Lucas, a screen appears that states three-quarters of the drug enforcement agents assigned to New York were convicted as a result of Lucas' cooperation with "outcast cop" Richie Roberts, portrayed by Russell Crowe in the movie.

There were no such convictions, Drug Enforcement Administration officials told ABC News. But the agency had no immediate reaction when told of the lawsuit.

The lawsuit seeks an injunction against further distribution and monetary damages.


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