After receiving news that his former fellow strippers — Thomas “Awesome” Austin and London Steele — are claiming that Magic Mike was ripped off their lives, Channing Tatum has stepped forward to address the lawsuit at hand.
“Those guys have been trying to make money off of me since I got into this business,” Tatum, 32, told reporters during a press conference promoting he film. “Literally, London was one of the guys that sold the video.”
That’s not all what the exotic-dancer-turned-actor had to say about the situation.
“Thank God that my friend here saw and we made a movie from it,” Tatum continued, motioning to Magic Mike director Steven Soderbergh.
The movie, which opens June 28, was said to have been created after the Oscar-winning filmmaker learned of Tatum’s real-life experience as a former male stripper.
At the junket, Tatum added:
“Look, there’s nothing that’s factual in this whole movie other than I was an 18-year-old kid, went into this world, dropped out of college, played football and was living on my sisters couch. There’s not one character that I took from my real life. This is just the world that I went into and that I had a perspective on. We created everything from a fictional place.”
Celebuzz consulted an attorney to assess if Austin and Steele indeed have a legit case against Tatum and the film.
Attorney Anthony Friedman of Los Angeles firm Levene, Neale, Bender, Yoo & Brill L.L.P.told us there’s a “really slim chance of them succeeding in any legal action.”
He broke it down, saying:
“Well, in the world we live in, anybody can file a lawsuit for anything. With regard to this, unless these guys had specific copyrights on names that they were calling themselves, or specific moves that they were doing, and they had an application filed with the US Patent Office, and Trademark Office, then yes, they could potentially [take action]. But the chances of them having done that are probably really slim and the chances of them succeeding in any legal action are probably very small. Though in this day and age, people file the lawsuit and hope to get some money out of it.”
Friedman then added, “Legally, I don’t think they have any chance.”
Despite the lawsuit though, Tatum has nothing but kind words for the dancers.
“I don’t want to say anything bad about them because they are part of the reason I think their world is so interesting,” he said of Austin and Steele. “They are very interesting, intriguing, bizarre characters, and I’m thankful for weird people out there, I guess.”
What do you think of the Magic Mike lawsuit? Get in on the conversation in the comments, below.
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Reporting by: Taryn Ryder