Author Clive Cussler has been ordered to pay $13.9 million (£10.1 million) in legal fees after launching an unsuccessful lawsuit against a film production company.

Crusader Entertainment's 2005 adaptation of Cussler's novel Sahara - starring Matthew Mcconaughey and Penelope Cruz - is estimated to have lost around $80 million (£58.3 million) at the box office, causing Cussler to sue the production company over his lack of script approval.

Crusader, owned by billionaire Philip Anschutz, countersued the author, claiming they had been encouraged into adapting Sahara based on Cussler's inflation of the novel's sales figures.

He was ordered to pay $5 million (£3.6 million) in 2007 after the jury ruled in Crusader's favour and has now been ordered to pay a further $13.9 million (£10.1 million) in legal fees.

Cussler's attorney Bert Fields told the Associated Press new agency he plans to appeal the decision for his client.

It is estimated that Cussler's total bill for the lawsuit could eventually reach $27 million (£19.6 million), once his own legal fees are taken into account.

11/03/2009 09:05:15