Cannes: Ferrara to be sued

Lawyers instructed to seek damages.

by Richard Mowe

Abel Ferrara in Cannes: A defamation action is being raised against the makers of Welcome To New York
Abel Ferrara in Cannes: A defamation action is being raised against the makers of Welcome To New York

The disgraced French politician and former head of the International Monetary Fund is to sue director Abel Ferrara and the producers of the film Welcome To New York which was premiered on Saturday evening at the Cannes Film Festival before being available to download throughout France.

Dominique Strauss Kahn, upon whom Gérard Depardieu based his portrayal of the louche financier and one-time pillar of the Establishment, has instructed his lawyers to raise a defamation action against the makers of the film. It was inspired by Strauss-Kahn's alleged assault on a maid at the Sofitel Hotel in New York.

Jean Veil, his advocate, underlined that DSK, as he is known in France, had not actually seen the film.

Vincent Maraval, co-founder of production, finance and sales company Wild Bunch, said the movie was made under American law and had been well vetted by attorneys. But he suggested that if anyone wants to “make us publicity, they are welcome”.

Besides the packed Festival screenings the film was downloaded more than 48,000 times on Sunday (the first day of availability), which Wild Bunch claim would amount to 90,000 admissions. It cost just under seven euros to download.

There were also many pirated copies of the film available on the internet.

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