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War Hero: That's MY Life Story!

A downed U.S. pilot who emerged as a hero after escaping from Bosnia sued movie studio Twentieth Century Fox and cable TV network Discovery Channel, claiming that they made unauthorized productions of his ordeal.

Scott O'Grady filed suit Monday against Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. and Discovery Communications Inc. in federal district court in Texarkana, Texas, alleging the two production companies profited from his story without attempting to secure proper rights.

O'Grady said the Fox movie "Behind Enemy Lines", which made about $59 million during its run in U.S. theaters from November 2001 through the end of March 2002, was based on his 1995 escape from war-torn Bosnia.

O'Grady was hailed by U.S. politicians and commentators as a war hero for surviving the much-publicized 1995 ordeal.

O'Grady charges Fox, a division of News Corporation, and Discovery Communications Inc., the parent of the Discovery Channel, with invasion of privacy through the misappropriation of his name, likeness and identity, false representation and false advertising, unjust enrichment and civil conspiracy.

The lawsuit does not list damages but O'Grady is seeking the movie and television drama's profits, triple damages that he sustained, legal fees and "an additional amount that the court considers just."

Officials from the Discovery Channel had no comment on the suit and Fox officials have yet to say if they will make a statement on the suit.

In 1995, then U.S. Air Force pilot O'Grady's F16 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile while he was patrolling a NATO no-fly zone over Bosnia. O'Grady evaded hostile Serb forces for six days - drinking water drained from his socks and eating grass - until he was rescued by U.S. Marines.

"Behind Enemy Lines", starring Gene Hackman and Owen Wilson, was about an F/A-18 Superhornet reconnaissance pilot who is shot down over Bosnia and struggles to evade hostile forces until he is saved by the U.S. military.

Before the movie hit screens, a television docudrama from the Discovery Channel called: "Behind Enemy Lines: The Scott O'Grady Story" hit the small screen and was broadcast several times from 1998 to 2001. The docudrama was sponsored by Fox, which used it to promote the movie, "Behind Enemy Lines," according to the lawsuit.

O'Grady argues that the commercial value of his name and identity have been damaged by the movie and television drama. O'Grady works as a motivational speaker and is the author of a children's book on his experiences.

"Captain O'Grady was also troubled that the 'hero' in the Fox movie used foul language, was portrayed as a 'hot dog' type pilot, and disobeyed orders, unlike O'Grady," according to the lawsuit.

By Lisa Bose McDermott

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