Two bartenders, including one from Tampa, are headed for court in a dispute over who taught mixology to actor Tom Cruise for the 1988 movie Cocktail.
John Bandy, in a suit filed Friday in Glendale Superior Court, accuses Michael Werner of Tampa, and his business, Magic Mike Inc., with invasion of privacy, seeking illegal profits, libel, conspiracy and negligence. It seeks unspecified damages.
"People in the business have informed my client there was a guy holding out as the person who trained Tom Cruise," said Bandy's attorney, J. Patrick Jacobs. "My client has developed quite a career out of being known as the guy who trained Tom Cruise."
Bandy, 32, of the Los Angeles-area city of Thousand Oaks, was in New Zealand and could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
In a telephone interview from Tampa, Werner said he taught Bandy how to mix drinks but denied claiming he taught Cruise all the right moves behind the bar.
Werner said he and Bandy worked together for several years for the TGI Friday's chain, including a restaurant in Dallas and one in the Los Angeles suburb of Woodland Hills.
In 1987, Bandy beat Werner for the title of National Olympic Bartending Champion.
The lawsuit also names Rusty Pelican Restaurants, a San Juan Capistrano, Calif.-based national restaurant chain, saying it allowed Werner to use a false reputation to hold a bartending seminar last July at its restaurant in Glendale.
Restaurant officials did not return telephone calls Wednesday.