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Woman Demands Payment From Disney

March 20, 2000

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The ex-wife of the tobacco industry whistle-blower portrayed in Disney’s Oscar-nominated film ``The Insider″ is demanding payment for the use of her life’s story and the film changed to portray her and her children more accurately.

Lucretia Nimocks, former wife of Jeffrey Wigand, has threatened legal action against Walt Disney Co. and Michael Mann Productions because she feels the filmmakers portrayed her as a gold-digging trophy wife who abandons her husband because he lost his job. In court documents, Nimocks said she left Wigand because he abused her.

Disney spokeswoman Christine Castro would say only that Nimocks’ ``claims are without merit.″

Tim Mills, Nimocks’ attorney, said Disney did not have permission to use the lives of Nimocks or her children in the film. He said he worries that the Motion Picture Academy’s Best Picture nomination for ``The Insider″ will cause even more people to see the unflattering portrayal of Nimocks.

The film focuses on Wigand and a battle within CBS over whether to air a ″60 Minutes″ story about his allegations that tobacco companies manipulated nicotine levels in cigarettes and lied about their addictive power.

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