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PARAMOUNT FINDS AUTHOR OF `GUMP' IS NO BONEHEAD

Paramount Pictures got the message: Winston Groom is no simpleton - he just writes about them.

The author of the book "Forrest Gump" has settled his lawsuit threat over profits from the movie starring Tom Hanks and cut a seven-figure deal for his newly completed sequel, "Gump & Co.," updating Forrest's life from 1980 to the present.This time, Groom gets a share of the film's profits before expenses.

For the first movie, Groom got $350,000 for the rights to his novel plus 3 percent of the net profit of the movie. Groom threatened to sue after Paramount said that the fourth-highest grossing film in history, with worldwide ticket sales of $661 million, was $62 million in the red as of Dec. 31.

Groom wouldn't disclose the size of the settlement. And he says he likes his new deal just fine. "I'm happy as a pig in sunshine," he said.