Academy settling Oscar crasher lawsuit

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Academy settling Oscar crasher lawsuit

Wed Sep 15, 2010 @ 12:44PM PST

By Matthew Belloni

Avila EXCLUSIVE: The actor accused of crashing the Oscars in March is resolving his legal battle with the motion picture academy. Michael Avila (aka Michael Avmen) tells us he and his wife have agreed not to attend future Academy Award ceremonies unless as a nominee or an official guest. In exchange, Avila says the Academy won't contest his attempt to get the arrest expunged from his record.

"There was no monetary exchange," Avila tells us.

An Academy rep confirms a settlement is forthcoming but would not comment on the terms.

"They have dismissed claims against the Academy and we are working toward an amicable resolution of our counterclaims," Academy spokesperson Leslie Unger tells us.

The settlement ends one of the stranger Oscar controversies in recent years. In April, Avila and his wife filed a $50 million false imprisonment lawsuit against the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences claiming they were detained for more than six hours outside the Kodak Theater after being stopped without tickets to the ceremony. Avila, a Venezuelan actor with bit parts in a couple upcoming films, argued that his publicist was supposed to meet him with tickets.

The Academy then fired back with a $200,000 cross-complaint alleging trespass and arguing that the Avilas admitted in custody that they never had tickets to the event. The criminal charges against the couple were later dropped but the civil litigation continued. Now the whole case looks like it's going away.

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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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