- Associated Press - Monday, August 23, 2010

HOUSTON (AP) - A federal appeals court has upheld a jury’s verdict that actor-screenwriter Tyler Perry didn’t steal material for his 2005 movie “Diary of a Mad Black Woman.”

Two years ago, jurors in East Texas found actress and writer Donna West failed to support her copyright infringement claim.

West appealed the verdict. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday there was nothing improper in the way the trial was conducted.

West wrote a play titled “Fantasy of a Black Woman” that was performed three times in 1991 in Dallas. She claimed Perry could have seen the script when he presented his plays at the Dallas Black Academy of Arts and Letters in 1998.

Perry testified his screenplay was an original work. The $5 million film grossed more than $50 million.

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