Copyright Law

Woody Allen Settles Billboard Lawsuit Against American Apparel for $5M

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A clothing company known for its racy advertising and aggressive litigation tactics has agreed to settle for $5 million a lawsuit by Woody Allen over its alleged unauthorized use of his image in a billboard campaign and Internet advertising.

But Dov Charney, the founder and chief executive of American Apparel, says he doesn’t regret using an image of Allen, dressed as a Hasidic Jew, from the actor and director’s Annie Hall movie, and settled as a trial was about to begin today in federal court in Manhattan only because his insurance company forced him to do so, reports the City Room blog of the New York Times. He also says he wishes Allen the best.

“Threats and press leaks by American Apparel designed to smear me did not work and a scheme to call a long list of witnesses who had absolutely nothing to do with the case was also disallowed by the court,” says Allen. His comments refer in part to the company’s claimed attempt to embarrass him by seeking to call as witnesses his wife, Soon-Yi Previn, and former companion, actress Mia Farrow. The actress was in a high-profile child custody dispute with Allen when the two separated nearly 20 years ago. Previn is an adopted daughter of Farrow.

Earlier, American Apparel had argued that Allen’s sullied reputation wasn’t worth the $10 million he initially sought as damages in the case. The company had also argued that its use of Allen’s image was a permissible parody.

Earlier coverage:

Guardian: “Woody Allen v American Apparel trial opens tomorrow” “Woody Allen’s Reputation Isn’t Worth $10M, American Apparel ArguesWoody Allen’s Reputation Isn’t Worth $10M, American Apparel Argues” “Woody Allen’s Wife and Ex Won’t Be on Witness List in Billboard Spat” “Lawyer Who Sued Company CEO is Target of Claimed Cyber-Attack Campaign”

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