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Wednesday, 16 August, 2000, 12:09 GMT 13:09 UK
OJ Simpson attempts to block movie
OJ Simpson murder trial
Simpson claims the film violates the client-lawyer privilege at his murder trial
Former American footballer OJ Simpson has begun a legal battle to halt production on the first movie about his murder trial.

Simpson was acquitted of killing his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman in 1994, but was later found liable for the deaths in a civil trial.

He claims that the film, American Tragedy, discloses confidential details of his murder trial defence team.

Simpson chose to sleep on his purported rights, waiting until defendants were in the middle of filming the multimillion-dollar television mini-series

Gary Bostwick, lawyer for Lawrence Schiller

But the film-makers argue that Simpson's legal action comes four years too late.

American Tragedy is based on a best-selling book of the same name written by Lawrence Schiller and James Willwerth.

As well as calling time on the film, Simpson's legal action attempts to sue Schiller, the film's production company Project 95 and Simpson's former lawyer Robert Kardashian.

However, by the close of proceedings on Tuesday, Superior Court Judge David Yaffe would only defer judgement until 6 September.

He wanted time to compare the film script, written by Pulitzer Prize winner Norman Mailer, with the book - but by then work on American Tragedy will have ended.

Too late

The movie, which would be shown as a mini-series, is directed by Schiller and stars Christopher Plummer, Ron Silver, Ving Rhames and Bruno Kirby.

Christopher Plummer in The Insider
Plummer, last seen in The Insider, takes a leading part in American Tragedy
Simpson claimed the story reveals the thoughts of at least eight members of his murder trial defence team who were misled into talking to Schiller when he was researching his book.

Schiller's lawyer, Gary Bostwick, said Simpson had been threatening to sue since the original book was first published in 1996 but was taking action now for maximum effect.

"Simpson chose to sleep on his purported rights, waiting until defendants were in the middle of filming the multimillion-dollar television mini-series on a tight production schedule to seek extraordinary injunctive relief," he said.

He added that Simpson would not be able to show that the movie would cause him any worse harm than the book.

Bostwick also said closing down production would go against free speech and create millions of dollars worth of damages.

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