5:22pm PT by Eriq Gardner
Rupert Murdoch Madness: Man Files Bizarre Lawsuit Over 'X-Files,' 'Donnie Darko'
With all due respect to the woman who sued because Drive was too boring, we might have identified the most outrageous lawsuit in recent years. The complaint filed on Wednesday in Washington federal court targets a weird series of coincidences in the film Donnie Darko, plus the TV shows X-Files and Burn Notice. According to the plaintiff, a congruence of fact and fiction adds up to News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch and his Fox empire committing defamation and a privacy invasion against him.
Huh? Read on...
Michael Charles Bertsch presents the coincidences in list form.
For example, here are some things he realized while watching Donnie Darko:
- "The family car in the movie was a sky blue Ford Taurus. My father has the exact same car with the exact same color."
- "Donnie Darko's sister's name is Elizabeth. My sister's name is Elizabeth."
- "In the movie a black 911 Porsche is parked in front of the Darko house. At the time I owned a black 911 Porsche."
- "Donnie's girlfriend Gretchen is introduced as a new student in the movie. Gretchen is a German name and my fiance was living in Germany and resembles the woman in the movie"
- "The main premise of the movie is about a plane engine that drops in Donnie Darko's room. I worked with a company that worked with the FAA in recovering parts and downed aircraft."
And so on...
Bertsch also appears to be into numerology and makes it part of the basis of his lawsuit. For instance, he notes that the time code in Donnie Darko when the main character announces, "This is my house" is 13:46, which happens, yes, to be his address at the time.
No surprise, Bertsch also is a fan of the occult show X-Files, which aired on News Corp's Fox network, and he wonders about the show's Ten Thirteen logo. He adds up the first three digits of his Social Security number, then adds up the last four digits and gets, ahem, 10 13.
Other alleged coincidences include his murdered sister (just like X-Files hero Fox Mulder's), the fact that he was once burned (just like the main character in Burn Notice), and that fact that his mother is a chain smoker (just like the mother in Burn Notice).
The allegations go on and on, until the last one in Bertsch's complaint. "My phone conversations were recorded and used in the TV show," he says.
Obviously, that's just crazy. Who at News Corp. would go to the trouble of hacking into people's phones to get personal information?