Moviemaker Woody Allen Wins $5 Million in Defamation Suit

May 19, 2009

American Apparel Inc. settled film director Woody Allen’s lawsuit over the company’s use of his image in advertising for $5 million, Allen said as the case was about to come to trial.

“I am told the settlement of five million dollars I am being paid is the largest reported amount ever paid under the New York right to privacy law,” Allen told reporters outside Manhattan federal court where the case was being heard.

Allen sued the U.S. clothing company more than a year ago seeking more than $10 million after the American film director’s image appeared on billboards in New York and Los Angeles. Allen says his reputation was damaged and his image was used for profit without his consent.

American Apparel founder Dov Charney, who thought up the advertisements, told reporters that the case was about “the dignity of ideas.”

“I am not sorry for expressing myself,” he said.

American Apparel’s lawyers had argued the advertisements, which were taken from Allen’s film “Annie Hall” and showed the 73-year-old director dressed as a rabbi, did not have a commercial purpose and were intended as a parody.

(Reporting by Christine Kearney, editing by Sandra Maler)

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