Actor David Keith Sues on Behalf of Planned Keith Whitley Movie

Actor David Keith, best known for his role in An Officer and a Gentleman, has sued an Alabama businessman for failing to provide the financing for a movie on the life of Keith Whitley, the country star who died of alcohol poisoning in 1989 at age 33. At the time of this death, Whitley was married to singer Lorrie Morgan and had five No. 1 songs to his credits, including “Don’t Close Your Eyes,” “When You Say Nothing at All” and “I’m No Stranger to the Rain.” In a suit filed Wednesday (Nov. 12) in U. S. District Court in Knoxville, Tenn., David Keith, a Knoxville native, alleges that in December 2005, businessman Davis Lee signed a contract on behalf of himself and his corporation, AlaTrade Foods, to form a production company with Keith to produce the movie and to provide that company a $10 million budget to pay for the biopic. In his complaint, the actor says he secured permissions from Whitley’s family for the film and from RCA, Whitley’s label, for the soundtrack music. He also says he received verbal casting agreements from Billy Ray Cyrus and bluegrass musician J.D. Crowe. A musical prodigy, Whitley became a member of Ralph Stanley’s Clinch Mountain Boys when he was 15 and went on become the band’s lead singer. David Keith is asking the court to compel Lee to fulfill his contract.