Woody Allen's battle with American Apparel turns ugly

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Woody Allen's battle with American Apparel turns ugly

Wed Apr 15, 2009 @ 12:24PM PST

By Eriq Gardner

Woody_allen_american_apparelAn LA-based clothing company is asking Woody Allen to fork over nude photos of his wife, Soon-Yi Previn.

Yes, you read that correctly.

Allen sued American Apparel for $10 million in New York District Court after it used in an billboard an unauthorized still from the film "Annie Hall" showing a bearded Allen (right). The writer-director-actor claimed in his complaint that American Apparel used his "image and identity in total disregard of his rights to privacy and publicity, his exclusive property rights and his personal rights."

American Apparel, which is known for its racy ads, is being represented by Stuart Slotnick, who has come up with a legal strategy that, depending on your view of Allen, is either genius or grating as hell.

The company is arguing that Woody's image isn't worth much after he cheated on his former girlfriend Mia Farrow with their step-daughter, Soon-Yi. 

"Woody Allen expects $10 million for use of his image on billboards that were up and down in less than one week. I think Woody Allen overestimates the value of his image,'' said Slotnick

To show that Allen has ruined the value of his image and endorsement, and destroyed his right of privacy, American Apparel is demanding that Allen turn over sensitive documents in the discovery process, including anything that describes his relationship with Soon-Yi Previn. According to legal filings in the case, Allen was sent a legal demand wherein American Apparel demanded "nude pictures you took of Soon-Yi Previn.''

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to [email protected]

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