'Savage Grace' Ménage A Trois Scene Leads To Defamation Claim

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'Savage Grace' Ménage A Trois Scene Leads To Defamation Claim

Wed Sep 17, 2008 @ 09:03PM PST

By Eriq Gardner

Poster1_2Art dealer Sam Green admits he had an affair with Barbara Baekeland, the woman who married into a plastics fortune and was the subject of the 2007 film "Savage Grace." But Green is adamantly denying that he had a ménage a trois with Baekeland and her son, Tony, who murdered her in 1972.

Green's side of the story comes up in a defamation suit launched against producers of "Savage Grace," including IFC Films, parents Cablevision Systems Corp. and Rainbow Media Holdings, Killer Films and Lace Curtain Productions. The film tells the story of the infamous Baekeland murder. Allegedly, Baekeland, played by Julianne Moore in the film, tried to cure her son of homosexuality by hiring girls to have sex with him, and then by having sex with him herself. In the film, the ménage a trois precedes Tony killing Barbara.

The complaint, filed in New York County Court, says the movie portrays Green "as an individual who preys on wealthy older women and engages in incestuous and homosexual relationships." The lawsuit also alleges that the bad publicity has harmed his ability to raise money for his charitable Landmarks Foundation and has exposed Green "to disgrace, hatred, ridicule and contempt," and "induced an evil opinion of him in the minds of right-thinking persons, and deprived him of friendly intercourse in society."

Green, represented by Brian Egan of Egan & Golden, seeks unspecified money damages.

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to Matthew.Belloni@thr.com

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