A Golden Globe-winning producer teed off against A&E Television Networks and a Manhattan production company with a $6 million lawsuit, accusing the cable station of trashing his reputation in a documentary on the making of the classic golf comedy Caddyshack.
Rusty Lemorande, 53, who was an executive in charge of production for the 1980 farce, says his quotes in the behind-the-scenes documentary falsely portray him as a “spy” on the set who ratted out his coworkers’ raucous behavior to his boss.
“These false statements are defamatory per se, and severely injured [Lemorande’s] reputation in his personal life and his professional community for reasons including that none in Hollywood would employ or work with a ‘spy’ who gains confidences only to exploit them for his personal gain,” according to court papers.
Caddyshack: The Inside Story, produced by Pangolin Pictures for Biography on A&E and included in a 2010 special DVD release of the feature film, is touted as portraying the “wild ride” behind the camera during the making of the movie.
Lemorande, who won a Golden Globe as the co-producer of the film Yentl, was only starting out in his 30-year career in Hollywood when he landed a job on the movie. He went on to work with directors Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas and pop star Michael Jackson.
In one of the many talking-head interviews for the documentary, Lemorande is quoted as saying that Mike Medavoy, an Orion film executive who bankrolled the comedy, wanted him to report back on the shenanigans going on during the filming.
But he says the second part of his quote was left on the cutting room floor.
“Uh, so . . . a spy, no. I was never blabbing on anybody, and I found that my report was always . . . most diplomatic to keep alive what was happening in Florida [where the movie was shot],” Lemorande claims he told the documentary directors.
A voiceover during the film says that that he had a reputation as a drug snitch with the cast and crew. According to the suit, a Pangolin employee told him that description was just “a writer’s flourish.”
Lemorande objected repeatedly to the production company when he found out that his reputation was lost in the rough, but, he says, they refused to change the documentary.
Pangolin Pictures and A&E refused to comment.