Arnold Schwarzenegger in criminal cases in Romania and the US

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The script writer Lucian Ciuchita is dealing with plagiarism. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s name is at stake. We hope to help Lucian to get in touch with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Hi! I’m Madalina Dima and we’re at the script writer’s Lucian Ciuchita home. We are going to talk about the scrip of his movie “Escape Plan”.

Hello Mr. Ciuchita and thank you for invinting us!

Hello!

Tell us, please, how did the story of the scrip used without copyright start?

The story started in the summer of 2012 when I presented the script „The water prisoners. The devil’s island” to a Romanian-American director, Ion Ionescu, who was impressed by my script and proposed me to take it in the States, to Hollywood, in order to present it to some film agents. This happened in September 2012 and only after a few weeks I’ve got an email from some American agents telling me that the script is very good but, for the moment, they don’ t have a budget to buy it. I didn’t want to let the things like this because it was a script I really cared about. This is the story of any good script actually. You need to be very lucky with it. That’s why I turned it into a novel and published it with the title „The purgatory island”.

A year later, in October 2013, a friend of mine called me and told me that he saw my movie in cinema. Surprised, I asked : „What film? What are you talking about?” „Escape Plan with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, but you’re not listed on the cast as the script writer!”, he replied. I was shocked. I came home and started to watch the movie. I was calm because the first 15 minutes didn’t give me any clue about my script. But after 15 minutes, elements from my script were starting to show upon the screen: the moment when Ray Breslin (Sylvester Stallone),the main character, is invited to a specific organization and gets a special mission on a tanker prison where he should find a genius with a revolutionary formula, and so on…all the elements from my story „The purgatory island”.

Those were my hardest moments because I realized it was about plagiarism and my work has been actually stolen. At first, I didn’t know what to do. I’ve tried to reach some televisions. Some of them believed me, some others didn’t, and there was very difficult for me to go on air with my story, so I decided to get o the Film-Makers Union, being a member of it since 1991. I made a petition to the president of the association, the director Laurentiu Damian, he accepted it and they made a commission of great Romanian film-makers  – Victoria Marinescu, film producer and director, and Calin Stanculescu. They analyzed my situation; they made an expertise of both products – the Escape Plan movie and Lucian Ciuchita’s script.

After one month I got the official answer. The expertise confirmed that there were big coincidences and major similarities between the two of them – my script and their movie. And this is how the story begins. I started to send notifications to the film producers from Hollywood, five great producers, whom, at first, asked me to send them all the documents, to tell them my story, how did my script get there and so on. They seemed that they didn’t know anything about this. Later, noticing their lack of answer or action, I sued them. The trial started in April 2014, at the Bucharest Law-Court, the 3rd civil section for copyright. From those moments, The Hollywood lawyers showed up with a lot of documents trying to prove that the movie was filmed long before the script got to the States.

It all seemed to be ok untill I started to analyze each document and realized that most of them were fake and we proved this fact through a criminalist expertise. We made a complaint at the law court and one month later they launched the trial and automatically prosecuted for fraud and the usage of forgery.

Our civil trial lasts for 3 years and the criminal trial lasts for a year and a half. And still waiting for the Court’s final decision.

Ok, but it’s been a while. What’s happening now?

For the moment, we made other criminalist expertise, because, as I told you, they came to Romania and thought they can do anything here, and besides ignoring a Romanian film maker, they ignored even the Romanian Law. You can’t come here with so many fake documents and present them as they authentic, cause they aren’t. They created situations that involved celebrities. For example, they made fake statements in the name of Arnold Schwarzenegger which were meant to validate the authenticity of the documents presented by the producers. They were talking exactly about those two documents due to which we’ve started the prosecution. There’s no way the big star would have declared something like this. For this reason we made another expertise that proved that even his signature was a fake. So all these official statements are fake.

Did you try to contact Mr. Schwarzenegger?

For my first complaint, which happened two years ago, being aware of the fact that this is almost impossible, I allowed myself to send a notification to Arnold’s agents, a letter via TNT. We have the confirmation that the letter arrived to its destination but we didn’t get any answer. In this letter we were explaining exactly the real facts, that they used Arnold’s notoriety and celebrity in order to influence the Romanian court of law. We didn’t get any answer but they came with another statement to confirm that the first document was real. This was the moment when I had to start another forensic in order to prove that this was a better made fake document.

Even if I wanted to contact Mr. Schwarzenegger and tell him what everything was about, I couldn’t. I’ve tried on several ways – via Facebook, via internet, etc. The only way was the official address of his agents which I took from IMDB. That was the address I’ve sent the letter to but I got no answer, as I told you.

What would you tell to Mr. Schwarzenegger if you’d see him now?

I would tell him: „Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger, someone is using your name for penal actions. I’m a big fan of yours and I congratulate you for your entire career. I’ve tried to contact you even with a letter via TNT, but it seems that it didn’t get to you. Please, contact me so I can send you the proofs of these facts.

Sincerely yours,

Lucian Ciuchita from Romania.”

Dear Mr. Ciuchita, thank you very much for your time, we wish you good luck and we sincerely hope that your message gets where is necessary and that Mr. Schwarzenegger will contact you!

Thank you!

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