Netflix Reacts to Panama Papers Lawyers Trying to Block 'Laundromat'

The law firm bosses portrayed in the movie by Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas have filed a restraining order to stop Netflix from releasing the Steven Soderbergh-directed film.

AceShowbiz - A pair of lawyers linked to the Panama Papers scandal are attempting to block Netflix from releasing their movie "The Laundromat".

The film, which is directed by Steven Soderbergh, and stars Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas as Panamanian law firm chiefs Jurgen Mossack and Ramon Fonseca, has already had a limited release in cinemas but is due to debut on the streaming service on Friday, October 18.

However, according to the Associated Press, Mossack and Fonseca have filed a defamation lawsuit in federal court in Connecticut, requesting a temporary restraining order blocking the film's release. Netflix bosses responded to the suit on Wednesday by asking a judge to dismiss the complaint.

The movie, which also stars Meryl Streep, humorously portrays the 2015 data breach at the lawyers' company, Mossack Fonseca, that exposed how some of the world's richest people hide their money from tax authorities.

The duo's lawyer, Stephan Seeger, claims the film falsely portrays them as master criminals engaged in all kinds of illegal shenanigans.

"The implications and innuendo converge to cast Plaintiffs in the light of mastermind criminals whose crimes include, but are not limited to, murder, bribery, money laundering and/or corruption," Seeger writes in the lawsuit. "Defendant's trailer and movie have clearly defamed the Plaintiffs and cast them in the false light of criminality."

U.S. authorities have charged four men, not including Mossack and Fonseca, with conspiracy and tax fraud in connection with the Panama Papers leaks.

The lawsuit claims the two men are facing criminal charges in Panama and are the subject of an FBI investigation and that the wide release of the movie could taint the U.S. probe and deprive them of their right to a fair trial.

Netflix's lawyers want the case thrown out of court, claiming there are no valid reasons for the legal complaint to have been filed in Connecticut.

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