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Meet Frank Dux
Part 3: Dux Sues Jean Claude Van Damme
 More of this Feature
• Part 1: Meet Frank Dux
• Part 2: Controversy
• Part 3: Van Damme Lawsuit
• Part 4: Dux Ryu

Dux vs. Van Damme

Dux's notoriety was just heating up when he sued the man who portrayed him, Jean Claude Van Damme, in October 1998. Van Damme and Dux were friends--after all, it was the role of Frank Dux that catapulted Van Damme to stardom. Dux was even dating Van Damme's sister-in-law. But their friendship turned sour as Van Damme's promises of allowing Dux jobs as martial arts choreographer and fight trainer on the movies Lionheart and Double Impact vanished. The last straw was the release of the movie The Quest.

Bloodsport Revisited

Planned to be the "greatest martial arts film ever," The Kumite would revisit the story line laid out by Bloodsport but this time with real locations, real budgets, and Van Damme's then-proven star power. Van Damme promised Dux 2.5 percent of the movie's gross. Dux penned The Kumite, but the movie was never made.

Later, another writer reworked the script into The Quest. Universal Studios produced it, Van Damme starred in it, but Frank Dux got nothing other than the $50,000 he was paid for The Kumite's script, and a "story by" credit--and that billing only after complaining to the Writer's Guild of America. So Frank Dux sued his friend for breach of oral contract.

Legal Kumite

The trial played out as Hollywood court cases seem to do: plenty of accusations, misplaced evidence, disallowed witnesses, and extensive coverage by CourtTV. In the end, Dux lost the suit. Was justice served?

Some pundits, like Hollywood trade magazine Point Of View, raise an eyebrow at how the trial was run. POV's Jennie and Terrie Frankel write, "The judge karate kicked Dux below the belt with a series of unprecedented rulings that precluded the testimony of any rebuttal witnesses, any impeachment witnesses and all actual eyewitnesses to the deal. Kramer (Dux's attorney) argued these witnesses were critical to his case, but to no avail." That's how things seem to go in Tinseltown.

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