Screenwriting : Legal Question - fictional character referring fictional actions with real famous people by Scot Michael Walker

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Scot Michael Walker

Legal Question - fictional character referring fictional actions with real famous people

I'm writing a screenplay and I have fictional characters who are describing acts they have had with real famous rock stars. Example, a fictional character named Susan says, "I was dating Mick Jagger and then he broke up with me because I was too old." Can I be sued? Thank yoU!

Stephen Barber

"As your attorney, I advise you to take a hit out of the little brown bottle in my shaving kit. You won't need much, just a tiny taste." ~ Fear and Loathing. I wouldn't think that line is a problem; however, I'm not an attorney...

Regina Lee

The US legal system allows anyone to sue for almost anything.

Craig D Griffiths

Most legal action is based on damages. Do your words cause harm? Plus you have some wiggle room when comes to public figures. I suspect they would sue the studio not the writer (more money).

Tony Cella

Not unless the work of fiction is biographical or presents the events as real.

Wal Friman

You won't own the intellectual property, or have any control over what's in the movie, when Jagger will hear about your joke. So, if he sues he will accuse you for something he made up.

Scot Michael Walker

Thanks for the responses! Yeah, what I have written won't work. I'll have to make it more generic. Thank you!

Erik Grossman

Better to ask forgiveness than ask permission.

Douglas Eugene Mayfield

Assuming that your fictional characters' interactions with famous people are funny, exciting, scary, whatever suits your story, I think you're creating a problem for yourself without needing to do so. In other words, why do you need the particular famous people at all? If you've got a good story, just insert archetypes. A rock star who's like Mick Jagger in your character description. Let the people casting the film sort it out. If you have written a good story, get it out there without the potential legal difficulties. That's my take, anyway.

Brian Knight

I think such a statement would be okay as long as it does not make real claims which may damage his real reputation. In fact, I think it has been done 100's of times; and I am rather certain that they all weren't sued. Now if you example was coming out of the mouth of a nine year old; then that's another story. "because i was to old" would be damaging. I think it was in Boy meets world when grandma had dated Steve Tyler; and in Small Wonder's the neighbors sister had dated every famous person alive; even Golden Girls had blanch talking about doing the nasty with a few celebs. As long as your not making it perverse, I think your okay.

Douglas Eugene Mayfield

Brian. Interesting. I had forgotten about Blanch(e?) and GG.

Preston Poulter

You can be sued for anything. Whether they can prevail is another matter. So to answer your question, "Can I be sued?" the answer will always be yes.

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