Advertising Law

Woody Allen’s Wife and Ex Won’t Be on Witness List in Billboard Spat

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Woody Allen may take the stand in a suit against American Apparel for using his image without permission, but his wife and ex-girlfriend won’t be called to testifiy.

American Apparel lawyer Stuart Slotnick told Reuters that Allen’s ex-girlfriend Mia Farrow and her adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn, now Allen’s wife, won’t be testifying. Both names had previously appeared on a possible witness list.

American Apparel has contended that Allen’s controversial relationship with Previn made his reputation worth less than the $10 million he is seeking from the clothing company. Allen is suing because American Apparel used an image from the movie Annie Hall of Allen dressed as a Hasidic Jew.

Slotnick says the ad was a parody and the trial will center on free speech rights. “At trial we will explain how the use of the image from the Annie Hall film was used to make a social statement and address social issues that were already subject to public discourse,” Slotnick told Reuters.

Court papers say American Apparel founder Dov Charney feels he has been viewed negatively because of sexual harassment suits. He felt a connection to Allen’s character in Annie Hall and to Allen’s real-life scandal over his marriage, the papers say.

The trial is scheduled to start Monday.

Related coverage:

The Independent: “Woody Allen Takes on American Apparel in a Real-Life Black Comedy”

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