Former Kiwi journalist David Farrier and his co-director are being sued for defamation for their documentary Tickled.

The documentary, directed by David Farrier and Dylan Reeve, reveals the strange world of competitive tickling.

Now, David D'Amato, son of late New York insurance lawyer George D'Amato, is suing the pair for defamation, saying the movie falsely accuses him of "abusing minors, paedophilia, child pornography and abuse of his students while employed by a school", celebrity gossip site Page Six reported.

Mr D'Amato, a former school assistant principal and guidance counsellor, who was an ex-employee of West Hempstead High School in Nassau County, New York, said the claims are false and he was not dismissed from his job for inappropriate behaviour.

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"I'm flattered the film is getting this much attention, even before it's officially released. I lived with this story for two years and [am] looking forward to spending more time on it," Farrier told Page Six.

Earlier this month, Farrier revealed he had been served with legal papers relating to Tickled. He tweeted to his followers he initially thought the woman who gave them to him was a fan.

"Thought this lady was a fan: 'are you david?' I said 'yes' hopefully ... & then she served me. this is a first."