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Crichton once turned in English paper by Orwell

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Michael Crichton admitted in court that he once turned in under his name an English paper written by novelist George Orwell.

He did it as a Harvard University sophomore in an effort to prove that a professor was grading him unfairly, the best-selling author testified Thursday in a lawsuit alleging he stole the screenplay for "Twister."Screenwriter Stephen Kessler brought the 1996 copyright infringement lawsuit, which seeks the movie's entire multimillion-dollar profit.

Kessler alleges that Crichton, his wife, Anne-Marie Martin, Steven Spielberg and others ripped off his screenplay, "Catch the Wind," about tornado chasers.

On cross-examination, Crichton testified that he put his name on an Orwell paper after telling another faculty member what he was doing. Crichton said it wasn't plagiarism.

"I did not pass it off as my own," said Crichton. He said the paper earned Orwell better marks than it won him.

"I was getting C-pluses. George Orwell got a B minus," Crichton said.


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