The partners of the offshore law firm whose confidential files were exposed in the Panama Papers leak have launched a defamation suit against Netflix over the Steven Soderbergh movie The Laundromat. The movie, which will be released on the streaming service on Friday, depicts the leaking of over 11 million documents that revealed the mass use of offshore entities used by the mega-rich to avoid taxes.
The law firm that provided these offshore services was Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian company founded by Jurgen Mossack and Ramon Fonseca. In their lawsuit, which was filed on Tuesday, they claim that The Laundromat, in which they are played by Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas, portrays them as ‘ruthless uncaring lawyers who are involved in money laundering, tax evasion, bribery and/or other criminal conduct.’ They claim the film is likely to impact charges they are set to go on trial for related to the law firm and are asking the court to stop it from being screened. The complaint also takes note of scenes depicting the pair as ‘mastermind criminals whose crimes include, but are not limited to, murder, bribery, money laundering and/or corruption.’
Netflix has yet to file a defense, although one wonders if this news will simply send the Streisand Effect into full gear. The Laundromathad its world premiere in competition at the Venice Film Festival, where it opened to mixed reviews and didn’t make much of a splash beyond that. Roxana’s review from TIFF called the film a ‘rare misstep’ for Soderbergh. If the streaming service is looking for some good press for it, they could do a lot worse than the real people involved in the story getting mad at it.
Header Image Source: Netflix