Investment Banker and lawyer Andrew Greene claims he is portrayed as "a criminal and drug user with misogynistic tendencies" in the film Wolf of Wall Street. Greene alleges the fictional character of Nicky 'Rugrat' Koskof, who engages in illegal acts, using cocaine, acquiring the services of a prostitute and shaving a woman's head, is based on him.
The 2013 film – which was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director for Scorsese, Best Adapted Screenplay for Winter, Best Actor for DiCaprio, and Best Supporting Actor for Jonah Hill at the Oscars – depicts the life and times of infamous Wall Street Trader Jordan Belfort, whose dodgy antics and cut-throat lifestyle earned him the nickname "The Wolf of Wall Street".
Belfort reportedly cost investors tens of millions of dollars during the financial boom of the 1990s. He also founded Wall Street firm Stratton Oakmont, which he used to swindle millions of dollars out of clients, through 'pump-and-dump' schemes.
Now, US magistrate Steve Locke has ruled that DiCaprio, 41, can be deposed on what his knowledge about the production processes of the film, after Greene filed a lawsuit against Paramount Pictures for defamation of character for damages totalling more than $50m (£34m; €44m).
Lawyers are not seeking to depose PJ Byrne, the actor who plays Greene in the film, while director Scorsese has already been deposed as part of the ongoing claim.
Paramount Pictures denies the claim, stating that Koskof is a fictional character based on a number of people. "No reasonable fact finder could claim that 'Nicky' was a recognisable likeness of Andrew Greene," reads court documents filed by lawyers, according to reports by Sky News.
DiCaprio's lawyers stated that the actor had not written or directed the film, adding that Greene's lawsuit did not directly accuse DiCaprio of providing the defamatory content or deciding to include it as part of the film's storyline and content.
The Wolf of Wall Street is based on the memoirs of Belfort, a penny-stock operator who went to prison for fraud.