Yes, we are still talking about Martin Scorsese’s high-octane biographical romp Wolf Of Wall Street seven years later, but there’s actually a good reason for this. According to a report by Variety, Jordan Belfort—the man whose fraudulent Wall Street exploits in the early ‘90s earned him 22 months in federal prison and inspired the theatrical hit—is accusing the producers of scamming him. In a stunning display of character development, he is officially taking them to court.
Per Variety’s report, Belfort has filed a $300 million lawsuit against Red Granite Pictures and its CEO, Riza Aziz, who is currently facing corruption charges for allegedly embezzling from the Malaysian government. Belfort claims that he was unaware that the film was financed with stolen money. Furthermore, he says that the ordeal has jeopardized the vitality of the rights to his memoirs—both of which he sold to the production company in question.
“Belfort was completely blindsided to learn, after the fact, of the source of funding for Red Granite and the film based on his book/story, as Defendants concealed these criminal acts and funding sources from him,” the file states. “Had he known he certainly never would have sold the rights.”
However, Belfort’s attempt to save face might be jeopardized by a passing moment of bravado. In a 2017 interview with finews.com, Belfort mentions that he knew upon his first meeting with Red Granite that there was something amiss and shared such insight with his then-fiance, Anne:
“I met these guys, and said to Anne‚ ‘These guys are fucking criminals.’ And then I met them at the launch party. They flew me to Cannes four or five months after they bought the movie and they wanted to announce it in Cannes. It hadn’t even gone into production yet, and they threw a launch party. They must have spent $3 million on a launch party. They flew in Kayne West, and I said to Anne, ‘This is a fucking scam, anybody who does this has stolen money.’”
This, of course, could mean absolutely nothing without proof that he was thoroughly aware of any misdeeds prior to selling the rights to the company, but it does call into question whether or not he was actually “blindsided,” as his suit claims. Red Granite’s attorney Matthew Schwartz quickly issued a response to Belfort’s claims: “Jordan Belfort’s lawsuit is nothing more than a desperate and supremely ironic attempt to get out from under an agreement that for the first time in his life made him rich and famous through lawful and legitimate means.”
Sometimes a good ending simply writes itself.