"American Gangster" Served W/ Cease & Desist, Former DEA Agent Demands Retraction
Now, one New York City Drug Enforcement Agent is threatening to make it a legal issue, accusing Universal Pictures, the studio responsible for the flick, of making "false and defamatory statements,".
Gregory Korniloff, a retired NYC DEA agent, sent a cease and desist letter through his attorney to the general counsel of NBC Universal and to the president of the studio.
Korniloff is demanding a retraction of statements made in the movie. The letter claims that the movie -- which portrays the life of infamous '60s and '70s Harlem heroin dealer Frank Lucas (played by Denzel Washington) -- incorrectly states that a third of NY DEA agents were convicted on charges related to Lucas. The letter also alleges that facts in the movie are misleading including heroin being smuggled in Vietnam veteran coffins and the amount of money stolen from Lucas' home during a raid.
Korniloff was the case agent for the DEA and "personally participated in the search of Lucas' house ... and the arrest of Lucas on that same day." Korniloff's lawyer, Dominic Amorosa, says the way the movie portrays that search "destroys the reputation of honest and courageous public servants by deliberately misrepresenting the facts."
Other real-life characters and people close to the events aren't happy with the way things were depicted in the movie.
New York-based DEA agent Joseph Sullivan said the whole thing is a pack of lies. He was at a raid on Lucas' Teaneck, N.J., home after two members of the Mafia ratted out the drug lord.
"His name is Frank Lucas and he was a drug dealer - that's where the truth in this movie ends," Sullivan said.
NBC Universal did not respond to requests for comment.