Netflix Slapped With Defamation Suit Over Free Diving Film ‘No Limit’
Netflix has been served a defamation lawsuit by a free diver who claims that the fictional drama “No Limit,” which is loosely based on his life, falsely suggests that he deliberately killed his wife.
The lawsuit’s plaintiff, Pipin Ferreras, was married to fellow free diver Audrey Mestre, who drowned during a dive without oxygen in 2002 when the device meant to carry her to the surface malfunctioned.
A fictional version of the couple is at the center of “No Limit,” a French-language film that follows a free diving couple named Pascal Gautier and Roxane Aubrey. Pascal is depicted as an abusive character who envies his wife’s success, and in the film’s climax, it is implied that he killed Roxane by sabotaging her air tank to leave her without enough air to get to the surface after a free dive.
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While the film says it is “inspired by true events” and has the traditional end credits disclaimer that it is a work of fiction and that any resemblance to real-life people is coincidental, the movie ends with a picture of Mestre and an account of her death.
“The law is clear that film makers cannot make a film which closely follows real events and defame someone and then hope to escape liability just because the film presents itself as fiction,” Ferreras’ attorney Alexander Rufus-Isaacs told TheWrap. “Pipin lost his wife in tragic circumstances and then had to endure the despicable and baseless accusation that he murdered her. He has been the subject vicious online abuse. This lawsuit seeks to achieve justice for him.”
Rufus-Isaacs has previously filed defamation lawsuits against Netflix, including one on behalf of Georgian chess player Nona Gaprindashvili due to false claims in the series “The Queen’s Gambit” stating that she never played against men. The lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed sum. The attorney also sued on behalf of Vanity Fair staffer Rachel Williams over her depiction in the series “Inventing Anna,” with the case still ongoing.
TheWrap has reached out to Netflix for comment.
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