Court Allows $45 Million Lawsuit Against Leo

A New York City appeals court refused to throw out a $45 million lawsuit against the Titanic star Leonardo DiCaprio for an alleged 1998 attack against the then-boyfriend of Showgirls actress Elizabeth Berkley.

DiCaprio, 26, and several others were sued by Roger Wilson, 41, who says the Oscar-nominated actor incited his friends to attack Wilson on March 4, 1998. At the time, Leo was quoted by one source as yelling “Let’s go kick his ass!” Wilson, a screenwriter and actor, asserts he was roughed up outside New York’s Asia de Cuba restaurant by DiCaprio and his posse. Seems that the superstar was putting the moves on Berkley, and Wilson was none too happy about it. According to the New York Daily News, Wilson claims that his singing career was ended when an unidentified pal of the actor hit him in the throat.

Judge Upholds Earlier Decision Last year, a Manhattan judge dismissed a claim that DiCaprio took part in the assault, but refused to throw out a claim that the actor helped instigate the attack. Thursday’s ruling upheld the earlier decision, and sustained a charge of “aiding and abetting an assault and battery,” according to The Associated Press. The appeals court wrote that there are enough questions surrounding the incident for a trial. Wilson’s lawyer, Richard Zuckerman, told the Daily News that he expects depositions in the case to start soon after the holidays. DiCaprio’s lawyer, Paul Callan, is quoted as praising the panel for dismissing the assault charge, and adding “the remaining claim of aiding and abetting an assault is utterly false.” He says he plans a “vigorous defense” for his client.

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