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Leonardo DiCaprio's attorneys ask judge to dismiss Ramapough Lenape lawsuit

HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: Actor Leonardo DiCaprio attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California.
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: Actor Leonardo DiCaprio attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California.
Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images

When Leonardo DiCaprio’s company signed off on producing “Out of the Furnace” it was unlikely that they anticipated a lawsuit would quickly follow. However that is exactly what happened. Yet, lawyers for DiCaprio’s production company have fired back. A Monday story by TMZ reveals that attorneys for DiCaprio have asked a judge to throw out the case citing the First Amendment.

17 members of the Ramapough Lenape Nation filed a lawsuit claiming that “Out of the Furnace” disparaged their tribe. They base this claim on the fact that several members of the characters have last names suggesting Ramapough ancestry, and another character makes a disparaging comment claiming they are inbred.

While the judge in the case has not yet issued a ruling in the matter, it will be interesting to see if DiCaprio’s claim of First Amendment protection will be sufficient to void the lawsuit. However, life is not all legal troubles for Dicaprio.

A Monday story by MSN Entertainment reveals that Dicaprio and his girlfriend, Blake Lively, were spotted enjoying a night out on the town. The story reveals that the two stars were attending a performance by Stevie Wonder at the Hollywood Bowl. It is not clear what the two stars did after the concert, but it is nice to see Leo taking time away from his legal woes to enjoy life.

It is not uncommon for movies to portray historical characters and groups in unflattering lights. However, these groups have historically not had legal recourse on filmmakers. Rather, as long as there was a reasonable level of proof and the movie does not directly make the claim, then the filmmakers are usually safe from lawsuit. As a result, it seems unlikely that the Ramapough lawsuit will be successful.

Do you think that DiCaprio’s company should be legally liable for disparaging the Ramapough Lenape Nation?