Is Crude Language Part of the Creative Process?

Then there are the rather raw remarks Lyle says writers made about three of the actors on the series -- Aniston, Courteney Cox Arquette and David Schwimmer -- which are the only comments Levin specifically denied his clients ever made.

But, more relevant to the future of Hollywood, the creative forces behind "Friends" are laying out a case that it is sometimes necessary to create a crude environment so writers can mine it for comic gold. "You can't write a show that deals with sexual subject matter without talking about sex," Levin said. "It's that simple."

Series co-creator Marta Kauffman said in a December 2001 deposition that one of her own personal sexual experiences became part of the pilot episode, when the character Monica Geller, played by Cox Arquette, "sleeps with a guy who tells her that he hasn't been able to have sex in three years because of a bad experience he had with a woman." Monica "later finds out he does this all the time, which was an experience that I had had in college," Kauffman said. In writing that episode, the conversations about her personal experience got "very explicit," she said.

Other experiences of writers found their ways into "Friends" scripts, Kauffman said. One writer who said he had received oral sex from a person he thought was a woman, but was actually a man, turned that into a tamer version when the character Chandler kisses a man he thought was a woman. Another incident in which a writer said a tailor groped his genitals during a fitting was played out on the show when Chandler and Joey went to a tailor.

But Lyle and her attorneys assert those examples are irrelevant, relatively tame and not part of her complaint. None of the conduct she is suing over had anything to do with script-writing, she says.

Whether it was the presence of a raunchy coloring book or writer Chase's alleged assertion that "he is not really into foreplay," Lyle said in a deposition the "Friends" writers "would go off on tangents that had absolutely nothing to do with the script in regard to what they'd like to make Joey and Rachel do to each other."

She added later: "I think any kind of discussion of anything sexual outside the confines of the script is sexual harassment."

Benissa Salem and Florinda Cruz contributed to this report.

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