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Actor Nate Parker Sued By Alleged Friend Of 20-Years Over Claims He Ripped Off Screenplay

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Source: mega

Apr. 5 2023, Published 5:15 p.m. ET

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Actor/director Nate Parker has been slapped with a federal lawsuit accusing him of ripping off a close friend’s screenplay, RadarOnline.com has learned.

According to court documents obtained by RadarOnline.com, a writer named Avan Hardwell has sued Parker and various production companies behind the 2019 film, American Skin.

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Parker wrote and directed the film. The film synopsis reads, “Marine veteran working as a school janitor tries to mend his relationship with his son after a divorce. When his son is killed by a police officer found innocent without standing trial, he takes matters into his own hands.”

In his suit, Hardwell says he obtained his degree in screenwriting. He said over the past 15 years, he has written and consulted on nearly a dozen plays for Los Angeles megachurch, West Angeles C.O.G.I.C. along with short films.

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American Skin

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He said he wrote a screenplay titled First and Constitution in 2016. He obtained a copyright in 2016, the suit claims.

Hardwell said his story focused on a black man whose son is “shot and killed right in front of him by police on the 4th of July weekend after the police wrongfully believe that Orion is reaching for a gun.”

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His script has the main character taking matters into his own hands after learning the police officers won’t face charges.

In the lawsuit, Hardwell said he’s known Parker for 20 years. He said they were so close they even held a prayer meeting at his house in August 2016.

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Hardwell said at this meeting he talked to Parker about the script. He said the Birth of a Nation director offered to read the work. In December 2016, Hardwell said he sent a copy of the script to Parker.

He said Parker responded via text after receiving the script, “Hey brother. I received your script. Will definitely take a look. Thanks for sending.”

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Days later, Parker allegedly asked Hardwell for a copy to be emailed to him. Hardwell said he sent over the script and Parker told him he read it.

However, Hardwell claimed that instead of working with him, Parker took his work and ripped it off for his American Skin screenplay. He said, “[Parker] knowingly, willfully, and deliberately adapted, copied, and misappropriated major portions of the Screenplay to create American Skin.

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In the complaint, he provided several instances where he claims dialogue was ripped from his script.

Hardwell has demanded damages in excess of $300k.

Back in 2016, Parker was forced to address allegations from his past. A woman accused the director and his friend of assaulting her in 1999 while at Penn State University.

She claimed the incident happened when she was intoxicated and unconscious. Parker was acquitted of all charges at the time.

The allegations resurfaced around the time his film The Birth of a Nation was set to be released. The controversy caused the film to suffer at the box office.

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