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Wednesday, 30 August, 2000, 10:13 GMT 11:13 UK
Legal storm over Clooney drama
George Clooney in The Perfect Storm
Clooney plays Captain Tyne in blockbuster The Perfect Storm
The wife and daughters of the doomed sea captain portrayed by George Clooney in the hit movie The Perfect Storm are suing the film's makers Warner Bros.

The relatives of Captain Frank William "Billy" Tyne filed their complaint in Orlando's district court on Thursday, claiming the movie depicted him in a "false and unflattering light".

They also said the film was produced without their consent, violating their privacy.

The ship's crew all died in the storm

But the studio released a statement denying the claims. It added that it would "vigorously defend" the First Amendment Right to freedom of expression.

The film The Perfect Storm is based on the best-selling book of the same name by author Sebastian Junger.

It purports to tell the story of a swordfishing crew, captained by Tyne, aboard the Andrea Gail which was caught up in a tempest in North Atlantic in 1991.

All the crew died and the boat was never found. The film has been praised for its attention to detail and stunning special effects to recreate the waves.

Historical event

Nevertheless, Tyne's family said they had been "wronged" by the portrayal of Tyne himself.

They claimed the movie went "way beyond anything appearing in Junger's book" in order to boost audiences and profits.

The fate of the Andrea Gail and its crew is well-documented

It did this, they added, by depicting Tyne as "emotionally aloof, reckless, excessively risk-taking, self-absorbed, emasculated, despondent, obsessed and maniacal".

Officials at Warner Bros, a division of Time Warner Inc, refuted all the family's allegations.

"We most certainly disagree with the plaintiffs' claim that the film in any way disparaged Mr Tyne or tarnished his memory," a spokeswoman said.

The company also argued that, since the movie is based on a well-known historical event, they did not believe the law required them to obtain permission from Tyne or his ex-wife or children to portray him in it.

Tyne's family is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, as well as royalties from the movie which has generated more than $173 million (117m) in gross revenue.

See also:

03 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Clooney wins box office fight
20 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Clooney hits Birmingham
02 May 00 | UK
Hollywood fights the facts
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