Queen Latifah Named In $15 Million Dollar Lawsuit

Recent Academy Award nominee, Queen Latifah, is

among named defendants in a copyright lawsuit seeking $15 million over the box

office standout, “Bringing Down the House.”

Marie Flaherty, a New York attorney, claims to

have written a screenplay entitled “Amoral Dilemma,” whose plot is

strikingly parallel to that of “Bringing Down the House.”

In 1999, Boston based attorney, George N. Tobia

Jr. is purported to have agreed to represent Flaherty in her efforts to sell

“Amoral Dilemma.”

Flaherty claims that several months later Tobia

notified her that he and a screenwriter friend, Jason Filardi had a script entitled

“Jailbait.com.” “Jailbait.com” would eventually become the

smash hit “Bringing Down the House.”

Both screenplays are based on an attorney who

unknowingly meets a prisoner online and the events that ensue. While both screenplays

have the same theme, they approach the material differently. Flaherty’s


screenplay is a drama, while “Bringing Down the House” is a comedy.

Flaherty claims that when she confronted Tobia

about the obvious congruencies, he continuously made the distinction that her

screenplay was a drama and Filardi was a comedy.

Flaherty’s suit names a plethora of defendants

including Queen Latifah, Walt Disney Co., who distributed the film, Hyde Park

Entertainment, who produced the film, Tobia, and Filardi.

As an attorney, Flaherty will represent herself

in the Manhattan federal court, where the suit was filed. She is seeking $15

million but feels the films success could influence the court to award her more.

Queen Latifah’s spokeswoman, Amanda Silverman,

did not have an immediate comment.