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Leonardo DiCaprio Sued by Producer

April 16, 1998

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Leonardo DiCaprio has been sued by a movie producer who claims the ``Titanic″ heartthrob is trying to block the distribution of a 1995 film in which he starred.

Producer David Stutman said in his $10 million Superior Court lawsuit that DiCaprio and fellow actor Tobey Maguire called a number of distributors of independent films urging them not to distribute ``Don’s Plum.″ DiCaprio and Maguire starred in the low-budget movie, which is still looking for a distributor.

The breach of contract complaint, filed Tuesday, said DiCaprio initially liked the finished film about four young friends hanging out in a diner.

``During the screening, he jumped out of his seat several times, laughing, clapping, and high-fiving his friends,″ Stutman’s lawsuit says.

Maguire, however, thought his own performance, some of which was improvised, ``would undermine the public image he and his manager were trying to protect″ and then used his friendship with DiCaprio to block the film’s release ``for their own egomaniacal purposes,″ the complaint states.

Maguire was featured in the film ``The Ice Storm.″

Due to the success of ``Titanic,″ DiCaprio has been able to discourage distributors, the suit said. ``Potential buyers, distributors and others (are) afraid to offend DiCaprio,″ the complaint said.

A spokeswoman for DiCaprio and Maguire issued a statement describing the actors’ work as an experiment, saying all parties agreed never to distribute it.

``As a favor to a friend and first-time director, Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire agreed to participate in an experimental black and white short film with an improvised script,″ the statement released by Nanci Ryder said.

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