The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Brawl back to haunt Leo

New York, May 7 (Reuters): Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio has been questioned in a $45-million lawsuit stemming from a five-year-old case that alleges he ordered friends to “kick the ass” of actress Elizabeth Berkley’s ex-boyfriend.

But DiCaprio’s lawyer Paul Callan said he expected the charges to be dismissed against the star of Titanic and Gangs of New York before the case reaches Manhattan Supreme Court on September 2.

In the lawsuit filed against DiCaprio and his friends, the star is accused of inciting his entourage, referred to in court documents as “his posse”, to attack screenwriter Roger Wilson, who once acted in two Porky flicks.

The March 4, 1998, brawl took place outside the trendy Asia de Cuba restaurant on Madison Avenue in midtown Manhattan.

Wilson, once the boyfriend of Showgirls star Berkley, alleges he suffered a broken larynx and other injuries when he was punched in the throat after being goaded by a member of DiCaprio’s entourage — injuries which he said ruined his singing career.

Last Thursday, DiCaprio spent several hours being questioned by Wilson’s lawyer, Leslie Kelmachter, during depositions. “The civil suit and depositions are going very well,” she said.

Kelmachter expects depositions to continue throughout most of the summer. But Callan said: “It’s about time this is all coming to an end.”

“Leonardo DiCaprio has repeatedly and forcefully denied any wrongdoing in this case and looks forward to these false charges being dismissed by the court,” Callan said.

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