Woody Allen sues for 10 million over billboard


Woody Allen has sued clothing company American Apparel for 10 million for using his image on billboards and on the Internet, reports The AP. In a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the actor-director said he does not endorse commercial products or services in the US, which makes the May 2007 American Apparel billboards in Hollywood and New York and website displays "especially egregious and damaging."

The lawsuit said Allen was not contacted by the company and did not consent to the use of his image, which was taken from one of his movies.

The lawsuit complained of a billboard featuring a frame from "Annie Hall," a film that won Allen a best director Oscar. The image showed Allen, 72, dressed as a Hasidic Jew with a long beard and black hat. The words "American Apparel" were on the billboard.

The billboard falsely implied that Allen sponsored, endorsed or was associated with American Apparel, said the lawsuit, which seeks at least 10 million in compensatory damages and unspecified punitive damages.
The lawsuit accuses American Apparel of "blatant misappropriation and commercial use of Allen’s image" and notes that the company on its website promotes itself as one known for "provocative photography."

As of February 2007, American Apparel had more than 6,700 employees and operated 184 retail stores in 13 countries, according to the AP story.