Tommy Wiseau has been ordered to pay over $700,000 to Canadian filmmakers after attempting to sue them for making an unauthorised documentary about The Room.
Room Full of Spoons, by Richard Harper, Fernando Forerero McGrath, Mark Racicot and Richard Towns, was due for release in 2017 following the success of The Disaster Artist starring James Franco, but Wiseau obtained an injunction citing a violation of copyright and an invasion of privacy.
According to Variety, Wiseau said the documentary used clips from The Room and also revealed the fact that he was born in Poland – which he had aimed to keep secret.
The Ontario Superior Court Judge Paul Schabas ruled in favour of the filmmakers on April 23, after an initial trial in January. Schabas said the documentary makers were entitled to use the clips under “fair dealing”, equivalent to “fair use”.
Regarding details on Wiseau’s origins, Schabas said: “This information was available from public sources, which is how the defendants obtained and confirmed it.
“Wiseau may be sensitive about this information because he has cultivated an aura of mystery around it, but disclosure of these facts is not, objectively speaking, something which can be described as ‘highly offensive.’”
Tommy Wiseau was ordered to pay $550,000 to the filmmakers to make up for the sabotaged release, and a further $200,000 in punitive damages.
Schabas called Wiseau’s behaviour “oppressive and outrageous”, and said: “This action was brought for the improper purpose of preventing the release of a documentary disliked by Tommy Wiseau.”
Elsewhere, Wiseau announced last year he was working on his next project, a horror film called Big Shark.