A judge ordered Leonardo DiCaprio to give a deposition about the making of The Wolf of Wall Street, a 2013 film that was nominated for five Academy Awards and is at the center of a defamation lawsuit. DiCaprio played the notorious, corrupt Jordan Belfort, who made a killing on Wall Street before pleading guilty to fraud. Even though the actor’s character isn’t the focus here, DiCaprio may still have to fork over all the info he has about the making of the film.
U.S. magistrate Steven Locke ruled that DiCaprio can be deposed in the lawsuit, brought by Andrew Greene against Paramount Pictures Corporation in 2014. Greene, an investment banker and attorney who was friends with the real-life Belfort, claims the character Nicky “Rugrat” Koskoff, played by P.J. Byrne, was based on him and that the portrayal isn’t exactly a positive one.
You may recall that Koskoff is one of the characters who goes off the rails, becomes addicted to cocaine, frequents prostitutes and even shaves a woman’s head at one point. So, yeah, not exactly a dreamboat. Greene is suing Paramount for $50 million for defamation of character, and DiCaprio has been told he must be available for questioning.
Paramount has shot back, claiming that Koskoff is a “composite character” who was inspired by several different people, including (sorry, not sorry?) Greene. And DiCaprio’s attorneys have opposed the deposition by saying that the actor didn’t write the movie and didn’t have a thing to do with choosing character traits. Unfortunately, the film’s director, Martin Scorsese, and screenwriter, Terence Winter, may have unknowingly thrown DiCaprio under the bus by testifying that they met regularly with him to discuss the script. I guess no one is buying that DiCaprio, with all of his star power, simply breezes onto a movie set, says his lines and goes home for the day. But there’s really zero proof that he had anything to do with shaping the character of Koskoff.
No word yet on when DiCaprio will be questioned. As for Greene, I can’t help but wonder how many people would have actually connected him with the Koskoff character had he not filed this lawsuit. Is there a single person out there not questioning that head-shaving scene now?