As besieged attorney Alan Isaacman, actor Edward Norton was a key player in The People vs. Larry Flynt. Too key, says one lawyer, who says Norton's Isaacman stole his thunder in a pivotal courtroom scene.

Kenneth Irwin Kahn filed suit in Los Angeles on Tuesday, accusing the makers of Larry Flynt of giving the Isaacman character credit onscreen for a real-life case that he helped Flynt battle.

Kahn says he represented the Hustler magazine publisher for three months in the early 1980s, and was his counsel of record during Flynt's infamous contempt trial (the one involving Larry, the diaper and the American flag). Except in the movie, it's Alan Isaacman, not Kenneth Kahn, who's doing the defending. Just show biz? Not to Kahn.

"It's really had an impact on my credibility," Kahn said Wednesday.

The legal eagle, who moonlights as a stand-up comedian, is a veteran L.A. attorney. Past clients include Daulton Lee, the convicted Soviet spy whose crimes were depicted in the 1985 film, The Falcon and the Snowman. (Actor Sam Ingraffia played Kahn in that flick.)

Kahn says he met with director Milos Forman and producer Oliver Stone about Larry Flynt in August 1995. During the confab, Kahn dished the details on the diaper trial. He did so, he says, because the two Hollywood lions verbally "agreed to give me full recognition if those scenes were incorporated into the movie." The deal, according to Kahn, was: He would get to play himself or an actor would be hired to play him--either way, he'd get a screen credit as a consultant.

None of those things came to pass, hence Kahn's lawsuit, which names both Forman and Stone. (A publicist for Stone said Wednesday he hadn't seen, or heard of, the complaint yet. Forman couldn't be reached for comment.)

Meanwhile, the skin-mag publisher whose battles with the courts over pornography inspired Forman's Oscar-nominated movie was at it again Wednesday. Larry Flynt winged it to Cincinnati, Ohio, to autograph and sell copies of Hustler for the first time since he was convicted there on obscenity charges in 1977.

Customers at Flynt's Hustler Books, Magazines, Gifts--the store the publisher opened to peddle the mag that other local vendors are afraid to stock--far outnumbered the six demonstrators and their signs ("Porn hurts children").

Ah, but it wasn't porn--or naked women--that were on the minds of Flynt's loyalists. It was, of course, the First Amendment. Said the man who snapped up one of the first Hustlers at the store: "I'm just here to support freedom of speech."

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