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Subject of True/False film sues its makers ahead of showing

The subject of a True/False Film Festival documentary sued the people who made it before it screens in mid-Missouri this weekend.

David D’Amato, who is listed as New York resident, filed suit against the directors of “Tickled,” airing at the documentary film festival held in Columbia. It also includes Maljack Productions, the film’s producer, along with the New Zealand directing team of David Farrier and Dylan Reeve.

“Tickled” chronicles “a fringe sport known as ‘competitive endurance tickling,'” according to the movie’s biography on the festival’s website. Farrier, a New Zealand-based journalist, traveled to the United States after his initial inquiries into the event were met with hostility.

D’Amato sued the filmmakers Thursday for defamation and “negligent infliction of emotional distress.” It claims the film calls D’Amato “a drug user,” the owner of Jane O’Brien Media, “allegedly a producer of films about tickling, and a producer of anti-gay, pornographic, and otherwise deviant erotica,” and “that one could not ‘imagine having him near your children.'”

“Each of the Defendants knew or using ordinary care could have known that the statements were substantially false,” the lawsuit, written by St. Louis-based attorney John Allan, claims.

Farrier, in Columbia for his film’s screening this weekend, told ABC 17 News he could not comment on the pending lawsuit.

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