A lawyer who says he was defamed by his portrayal in The Wolf of Wall Street is asking for $25 million US in damages and the film removed from theatres.

Andrew Greene says in a complaint filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of New York against the filmmakers and Paramount Pictures that the toupee-wearing character Nicky (Rugrat) Koskoff played by actor P.J. Byrne in the film was modelled after Greene.

The hedonistic, Oscar-nominated film starring Leonardo DiCaprio is based on the 2007 memoir by Jordan Belfort, the notorious founder of the Stratton Oakmont brokerage firm.

Greene served as the firm's head of corporate finance in the 1990s. The lawsuit says the filmmakers made Greene look like a depraved criminal and drug user.

Paramount had no comment on the lawsuit.