Privacy Law

Actress loses suit against website that revealed her real age

  • Print

A federal jury in Seattle has rejected claims by an actress who sued the website IMDb for revealing her real age.

Jurors rejected allegations by Huong Hoang, who goes by the stage name Junie Hoang, that the website violated its user agreement by using her account information to obtain her age, report the Associated Press and the Hollywood Reporter’s Hollywood, Esq. Hoang had claimed the disclosure made it more difficult to obtain work because she plays younger women.

U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman had allowed Hoang’s breach of contract claim last year, but tossed claims that the website had violated Washington privacy law and had acted fraudulently, Hollywood, Esq. reported at the time. Pechman also disallowed punitive damages.

During the trial, IMDb lawyer Harry Schneider questioned Hoang about her tax returns showing her 2010 income as an actress was between $1,000 and $2,000 according to a prior Hollywood, Esq. story. “The implication,” the blog says, “was that Hoang’s acting was more of a hobby and less of a serious occupation.”

Schneider also questioned Hoang about a provision in the user agreement requiring the submission of truthful information, according to Hollywood, Esq. Hoang had initially submitted an incorrect birth date and then tried to get it removed from the website because she didn’t want any age at all to be listed.

When the company refused to remove the age unless Hoang could prove the information was incorrect, Hoang said the company should check its own records to see if it could substantiate it, according to the AP account. The company then used Hoang’s account information to find her actual age. The company pointed to a provision in the user agreement allowing use of user information “for such purposes as responding to your requests.”

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.