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Mike White Sued over 'Year of the Dog’

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Jun 07, 2007 | 7:50am EDT

Filmmaker Mike White is being sued over his latest film Year of the Dog by his former friend Laura Kightlinger, who claims she gave him the idea for the movie.

Kightlinger has filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court, claming she gave him the script named We Are Animals about a woman who loves rescuing cats.

Year of the Dog, which stars Laura Dern and Molly Shannon, centers on a pet-obsessive.

White tells the Los Angeles Times, "They are totally different scripts. I know there is a similarity in the sense that (the female leads) both have pets that they care about, but beyond that, everything she is saying that is similar seems like a real stretch to me.

"The only thing that has ever mattered to me as far as my work was that people thought I was original and that I had integrity. I never cared if they thought I was weird or uncommercial or an acquired taste or whatever. That Laura is seeking publicity for herself by trying to damage what I have spent my career trying to create seems cruel."

Kightlinger's lawyer, Jennifer McGrath, says, "Our claim is not a copyright claim but rather a breach of 'implied' contract claim. Mike and Laura were friends, but he was also a writer-producer. There was an expectation that if she told him her idea and he was going to use it in some way, she would be paid and she would also be involved in the project."

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