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Former Bush aide sues over 'Vote'

August 09, 2008|From the Associated Press

NEW YORK -- A former presidential aide claims in a lawsuit filed this week that plot and marketing elements of the Kevin Costner and Kelsey Grammer movie "Swing Vote" were stolen from him.

Political commentator Bradley Blakeman, a former deputy assistant to President Bush for appointments and scheduling, said in the lawsuit that he gave a copyrighted screenplay titled "Go November" to Grammer in 2006.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court on Long Island, claims Grammer agreed to develop the project and star as an incumbent Republican president but ended up portraying a similar role in "Swing Vote," which was released Aug. 1.

A spokesman for Grammer and his production company, both named in the lawsuit, dismissed the claims as frivolous.

"I am not sure why Kelsey was even named in this suit," spokesman Stan Rosenfield wrote in an e-mail. "He was an actor who signed on to the project after the script was written."

Blakeman's lawsuit, however, claims the former "Cheers" and "Frasier" actor told him to consult a producer who later told him repeatedly that they were interviewing potential screenwriters and planned to go ahead with the project.

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