Schweiger must give 'Barefoot' deposition


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BERLIN -- German superstar Til Schweiger has been served with an order by the Los Angeles Superior Court to give a deposition in a lawsuit by L.A.-based screenwriter Stephen Zotnowski concerning Schweiger's 2005 boxoffice hit "Barefoot."

Zotnowski maintains that Schweiger denied him the proper writer credit on the film, which was based on Zotnowski's original English-language screenplay, and did not paid him proper profit participation after the film became a major hit in its home territory.

"Barefoot" marked Schweiger's high-profile return to Germany after the multihyphenate had spent years in the U.S. The romantic comedy -- which Schweiger starred in as well as directed, produced and co-wrote -- earned about 9 million euros at the German boxoffice and was a strong seller across Europe.

Schweiger followed the success with the smash "Rabbit Without Ears," which already has sold more than 4 million tickets in Germany since its December release and remains a top 10 boxoffice title.

Bavaria Film International is selling "Ears" at Berlin's European Film Market.

Schweiger's lawyer, Ulrich Reber of Munich-based law firm Schwarz, Kelwing, Wicke and Westpfahl, said the actor was unlikely to provide a disposition himself but that someone from his production company Barefoot Films would answer the charges, which Reber said were "completely without merit."

The suit is set to go to trial in April in Los Angeles.