Lawyers for Phil Anschutz say the stinker of a movie lost $105 million because Clive Cussler lied about his book sales. Cussler says that's, uh, ridiculous. All I want to know is were Anschutz's people really naive enough to finance a movie without independently checking whether the book actually did sell 100 million copies? The trial began today in Los Angeles Superior Court and includes "claims of sabotage, fraud, profligate spending and racism," writes LAT Anschutz reporter Glenn Bunting. On the witness list are Cussler, former Paramount Pictures Chairwoman Sherry Lansing, star Matthew McConaughey and Anschutz — and should Uncle Phil actually testify the courtroom will be packed. He hasn't given an interview since the 1980s, but he is changing the face of Los Angeles and (he hopes) the way Hollywood does business. The lawyers might get to opening statements tomorrow.
Crop of photo by Keith Hamshere / Paramount via LATimes.com