Actor Freeman Settles Mississippi Car Accident Case

November 11, 2009

Actor Morgan Freeman has settled a lawsuit related to a 2008 car accident that seriously injured him and a passenger, according to court records. Terms of the settlement were not released.

Demaris Meyer filed a federal lawsuit against the Academy Award-winning actor in February, claiming Freeman had been drinking the night of the accident last summer and was negligent when the car ran off the side of a rural highway near his Mississippi Delta home.

The 1997 Nissan Maxima belonged to Meyer but she said Freeman was driving when the car flipped several times and landed upright in a ditch about 75 miles (120 kilometers) south of Memphis, Tennessee. No charges were filed.

Details of the settlement were not disclosed in court records. U.S. District Judge Michael P. Mills closed the case in a ruling Thursday.

Freeman’s attorney, Jack Hayes Jr., would not discuss the terms of the deal, but said “we’re all glad it’s over with.”

Meyer’s attorney, Gloria Allred, wouldn’t comment on the amount of the settlement.

“Ms. Meyer is pleased that the matter is resolved and the case is settled,” she said.

Meyer, who lives in Memphis, had sued for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, permanent disability and property damage. The lawsuit claimed Freeman had been drinking that night at the Bayou Bend Golf and Country Club and later at a friend’s house.

Meyer also complained that she was wrongly “labeled as the other woman” after the accident and “accused of having caused the breakup of Mr. Freeman’s marriage.” Meyer has said Freeman offered to let her stay that night at one of three houses on his property after they attended a party.

Not long after the wreck, Freeman’s friend, business partner and lawyer, Bill Luckett, told reporters that Freeman and his wife, Myrna Colley-Lee, had been separated since December 2007 and were getting a divorce. The divorce was filed under seal in Tallahatchie County Chancery Court and was not open to the public.

Freeman, 72, won an Oscar for his performance in 2004’s “Million Dollar Baby” and co-starred in “The Dark Knight.” His screen credits also include “Bruce Almighty,” “The Shawshank Redemption” and “Driving Miss Daisy.”

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