Netflix Faces Real-Life Lawsuit over The Laundromat

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Netflix Faces Real-Life Lawsuit over <i>The Laundromat</i>

The Panamanian law firm behind the infamous Panama Papers, Mossack Fonseca & Co, is now dissolved, existing only in history and fictionalized form in Steven Soderbergh’s new film The Laundromat. Yet the firm’s two partners, Jürgen Mossack and Ramón Fonseca, have come back into the spotlight to file a libel and trademark infringement lawsuit against Netflix over The Laundromat, Deadline reports. Mossack and Fonseca have also filed a temporary restraining order in an attempt to halt the disclaimer-free release of the movie on the streaming site on Oct. 18 and in theaters.

The complaint was made in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut. The filed document claims that the film “defames and potrays the Plaintiffs as ruthless uncaring lawyers who are involved in money laundering, tax evasion, bribery and/or other criminal conduct,” and that “the implications and innuendo converge to cast Plaintiffs in the light of mastermind criminals whose crimes include, but are not limited to, murder, bribery, money laundering and/or corruption. Defendant’s trailer and movie have clearly defamed the Plaintiffs and cast them in the false light of criminality,” the suit reads.

The Laundromat stars Meryl Streep as a widow investigating legal fraud by Mossack and Fonseca, who are depicted in a flattering light by being played by renowned actors Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas, respectively, but otherwise depicted as being as awful and uncaring, as their suit describes. The two were behind a case of widespread global tax evasion that aided the rich and hurt everyday people, so it’s unclear which part of their shady reputation the two lawyers are trying to redeem.

On Thursday, Netflix filed its motion to dismiss the case, and will soon separately file its opposition to the plaintiffs’ motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. If they cannot fully dismiss the case, they will, “in the alternative, transfer venue to the United States District Court for the Central District of California.”

Netflix  seems unbothered by the case—as of right now, The Laundromat is still playing in select theaters and set for release on Netflix this Friday, Oct. 18. Watch a trailer for the film here.

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