Marty Singer gets hot and McSteamy with Gawker

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Marty Singer gets hot and McSteamy with Gawker

Wed Sep 23, 2009 @ 06:38PM PST

By Matthew Belloni

Dane_gayheart_peniche

Last month Marty Singer offered us a preview of how he might try to squelch a naked video of clients Rebecca Gayheart and Eric Dane that had been posted on the Gawker gossip website.

Today he followed through and sued Gawker for copyright infringement, seeking $1 million and an injunction preventing distribution of the clip. Gawker posted four minutes of the video showing "Grey's Anatomy" star Dane and wife Gayheart cavorting with former beauty queen Keri Ann Peniche and linked to sister site Fleshbot, which made more of the footage available.

As we noted last month, if you watch the video (we did--please don't sue us, Marty) you'll notice that Dane holds the camera for a portion of the "shoot." That gives him a copyright interest in the video and forms the basis of at least part the lawsuit. They also allege a "brazen" invasion of privacy.

We've always been amazed how Gawker has escaped litigation over the years, even as it posted unauthorized videos of Tom Cruise andothers. Today Gawker publisher Nick Denton quoted our initial Singer post (or at least attempted to quote it) in his Twitter response to the lawsuit: "To quote the great Marty Singer -- Eric Dane's lawyer – 'If you don't want a sex tape on the Internet, don't make one!"'

UPDATED: Gawker has posted the full complaint. As suspected, Singer claims his clients "authored" the video.

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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 Matthew.Belloni@thr.com

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