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Netflix ordered to remove sex scene of drug trafficker, pay $16K for privacy breach

Netflix ordered to remove sex scene of drug trafficker, pay $16K for privacy breach
Former drug trafficker Laureano Oubiña leaving a Spanish courthouse in 2023.

Netflix has been compelled by a Spanish court to remove a sex scene from the series “Cocaine Coast,” after a ruling found that it depicted real-life drug trafficker Laureano Oubiña in an unflattering and damaging light.

Laureano Oubiña, a 78-year-old former drug smuggler, had sued Netflix last year for 1.5 million euros (approximately $1.6 million). He argued that the series caused him “moral damage” by portraying him as violent and impotent, as reported by The Times of London. The court has now ordered Netflix to pay Oubiña 15,000 euros (roughly $16,200) for violating his privacy and instructed the company to cut an “explicit sex” scene from the show’s first episode.

According to The Times of London, the court deemed the scene unnecessary and accused it of being inserted purely to “hook the viewer into the plot.”

Jorge Paladino, Oubiña’s lawyer, explained that his client’s life had “worsened considerably” since the series aired. The portrayal in “Cocaine Coast” depicted Oubiña as “a person capable of taking the life of another,” along with other derogatory attributes such as being violent, sexist, a cocaine trafficker, impotent, vicious, unfaithful, a bad father, a bad husband, brutish, foolish, vengeful, abusive to women, ignorant, and a mafioso.

Oubiña was particularly offended by a scene that showed him unable to have sex with his wife during a conjugal visit in prison. Despite these objections, the court dismissed the other complaints raised by Oubiña.

While the ruling allows for an appeal, Netflix representatives did not respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

“Cocaine Coast” narrates the story of a young fisherman who becomes a cocaine smuggler in 1980s Galicia, a region in northwest Spain. Although Netflix has acquired the show, it is not currently available for viewing in the United States.

Oubiña’s case is not isolated. Netflix has faced various lawsuits over its dramatizations of real-life events. For instance, Fiona Harvey filed a lawsuit last month, claiming the character of Martha in the popular show “Baby Reindeer” was based on her and that the show damaged her reputation. She is seeking more than $170 million in damages. In response, a Netflix spokesperson stated that the company plans “to defend this matter vigorously and to stand by Richard Gadd’s right to tell his story.”

Earlier this year, the estate of Griselda Blanco, a notorious Colombian drug queen, filed a lawsuit against Netflix over the show “Griselda,” alleging unauthorized use of the family’s images and likenesses. This lawsuit was settled in February.

Source: The Times of London, Business Insider