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Judge Throws Out ‘Perfect Storm’ Suit

May 10, 2002

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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) _ A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit Thursday that claimed the film ``A Perfect Storm″ depicted the main character in a false and unflattering light.

Judge Anne C. Conway said the movie is protected by the First Amendment, and that the Supreme Court has given filmmakers broad leeway in depicting people and events.

The family of the late fishing boat captain, Frank William ``Billy″ Tyne Jr., sued Time Warner Entertainment Co. and the two companies that produced the film. The complaint said the film depicted Tyne, who was portrayed by actor George Clooney, as ``emotionally aloof,″ ``reckless″ and ``obsessed.″

Warner Bros. applauded Thursday’s ruling as a victory for artists ``who may now continue to find inspiration in historical events without having their creative visions censored and controlled.″

The family’s attorney said he will talk to his clients about a possible appeal.

The film, based on the best-selling book by the same name by Sebastian Junger, tells the story of Tyne’s final swordfishing expedition in October 1991 amid torrential storms that converged in the North Atlantic.

Tyne and five crewmen on the Gloucester, Mass.-based vessel all drowned, and the boat, the Andrea Gail, was never found.

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