News Article

Gang of New York

Leo faces suit for brawl over Elizabeth Berkley. DiCaprio testifies about his alleged role in a 1998 fight over the ''Showgirls'' star

Leonardo DiCaprio | RAW DIO Will DiCaprio face charges?
Image credit: Leonardo DiCaprio: UDW0/UPPA/ZUMA Press/Nescom
RAW DIO Will DiCaprio face charges?

Leonardo DiCaprio's brawling in Lower Manhattan in ''Gangs of New York'' was a case of art imitating life, according to a $45 million lawsuit. According to the New York Post, the actor was deposed Thursday in the suit, filed by ''Porky's'' actor Roger Wilson, over a 1998 incident in which DiCaprio allegedly ordered his posse to attack Wilson in a fight over Wilson's then-girlfriend, ''Showgirls'' star Elizabeth Berkley.

According to the suit, DiCaprio hit on Berkley after meeting her at the premiere of his movie ''The Man in the Iron Mask,'' but she turned him away, saying she was with Wilson. Two days later, Wilson confronted DiCaprio and his friends at a Manhattan restaurant, urging the ''Titanic'' star to stop calling Berkley. Words were exchanged, the argument moved outside, and DiCaprio allegedly commanded his pals to ''kick his ass.'' Wilson says an unknown assailant hit him in the throat, damaging his larynx and effectively putting an end to his career in Broadway musicals and as a rock frontman. He's seeking $15 million in compensatory damages and $30 million in punitive damages.

DiCaprio's lawyer wouldn't comment on the nature of his client's deposition, which was videotaped by Wilson's lawyer. ''All parties in the civil lawsuit are being deposed,'' DiCaprio's attorney told the Post. ''That's all I can say.'' The suit goes to court in September.

Originally posted May 05, 2003