Paul Brodeur, a staff writer at The New Yorker for nearly 40 years, has a long and distinguished body of work of which he can be proud. But that body of work has been undone, apparently, by a throwaway line in a David O. Russell movie. Brodeur is suing the companies that produced Russell’s American Hustle, charging that they permanently damaged his reputation with the following exchange:
Brodeur, who wrote a book about the dangers of microwave radiation, claims that while, yes, he said microwaves were bad, he never said they take the nutrition out of food. As a result, he says the production team committed “libel, defamation, slander and false light” by making a “scientifically unsupportable statement,” for which he is seeking reparations to the tune of $1 million dollars. “The scene from the movie American Hustle where the defamatory statement was made is highly offensive to a reasonable person,” Brodeur alleges, presumably adding that he tried to find that topcoat that smells like flowers and garbage, and he doesn’t think that’s real, either.