NEW YORK, April 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Ronai & Ronai, LLP, the attorneys representing Marc Schiller, the real-life victim who was falsely depicted in the motion picture "Pain & Gain," filed a lawsuit on Mr. Schiller's behalf today in The United States District Court, Southern District of New York, against Paramount Pictures, Viacom, Michael Bay, Mark Wahlberg, and others, for defamation of character and violation of his right to privacy.
In the movie "Pain & Gain," which was heavily promoted and marketed to the public as a "True Story," Mr. Schiller's character, played by Tony Shalhoub, was portrayed as a deplorable, womanizing, alcohol and drug-using biggot.
In actuality, Mr. Schiller was the innocent victim of a horrible crime, kidnapped by a group of bodybuilders, held and tortured for approximately one month and then almost murdered, all while the thugs forcibly stole all of his assets. Unlike his character in the movie, Mr. Schiller was a family man, who never drank or did drugs and had an excellent reputation in his community.
Attorney Holly Ostrov Ronai stated, "In an attempt to escalate movie ticket and related product sales, the defendants chose to falsely make the criminals look like nice guys and Mr. Schiller look like a horrible person who deserved what he got, all while advertising the movie as a 'True Story.' They are simply not permitted to ruin a man's reputation for their own monetary gain."
"In fact, Mr. Schiller came from very humble beginnings and was a likeable man who never behaved like the character in the film. This movie took away any shred of dignity and honor that Marc Schiller had left," added attorney Peter Ronai.
The movie "Pain & Gain" successfully earned approximately $95 million at the box office and in DVD sales. Additionally, a line of nutritional products developed by defendants GNC and Mark Wahlberg, amongst others were co-promoted with the motion picture and earned an undisclosed amount.
The Complaint alleges that the named defendants all profited by falsely depicting Mr. Schiller and by using his image, likeness and/or portrait without his permission, and seeks money damages.
SOURCE Ronai & Ronai, LLP