“Eighty Percent of Success is Just Showing Up”: Woody Allen Settles for $5 Million On Eve of Trial

445px-woody_allen_2006The lawsuit by Woody Allen, discussed earlier, has been settled on the eve of the trial by American Apparel. The clothing manufacturer for using an image of Allen from the 1977 movie “Annie Hall” on billboards without his permission. While American Apparel argued that Allen’s value as a sponsor was virtually worthless due to his personal scandal involving his marriage to Soon-Yi Previn. The company paid $5 million to settle the claim — half of what Allen demanded and a handsome sum for such a case given the short-lived advertisement campaign.

Dov Charney, its founder and chief executive, insisted that he was eager to go to trial and that the insurance company forced the settlement. He invoked free speech in a campaigned “designed to inspire dialogue” and suggested that Allen was hypocritical in his position: “My intention was to call upon people to see beyond media — and lawsuit-inspired scandal, and to consider people for their true value and for their contribution to society. I appreciate Woody Allen’s work, but I also appreciate the First Amendment. Let’s not forget that Woody Allen himself has referenced many public figures over the course of his long career, often for the purpose of parody, such as Fidel Castro in the movie ‘Bananas.’ ”

Allen lashed out at the company: “Threats and press leaks by American Apparel designed to smear me did not work, and a scheme to call a long list of witnesses who had absolutely nothing to do with the case was also disallowed by the court. . . I suspect this dose of legal reality led to their 11th-hour settlement,.”

The company had threatened to bring up Mr. Allen’s affair with Ms. Previn, whom he married in 1997 — the adopted daughter of his former companion, Mia Farrow.

The settlement literally came hours before the start of the trial, proving that Allen was right when he said “Eighty percent of success is showing up.”

For the full story, click here.

10 thoughts on ““Eighty Percent of Success is Just Showing Up”: Woody Allen Settles for $5 Million On Eve of Trial”

  1. MikeA:

    “Why is it that in 36 years I’ve never been able to get a case like this?”

    Are you not glad you were not either the Attorney for the Plaintiff or Defendant in the Corruption case in Michigan which involved the Former Mayor?

    The “5 lawyers accused of misconduct in Kwame Kilpatrick scandal

    Detroit — Allegations of professional misconduct have been handed down by the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission against five of the lawyers who negotiated a secretive $8.4 million whistleblower lawsuit settlement that was supposed to submerge the infamous text messages that brought down former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

    “The charges are varied, but they are all out of the Kwame Kilpatrick, text message, whistleblower lawsuit against the city of Detroit,” said John VanBolt, executive director of the Michigan Attorney Discipline Board.

    Allegations of criminal violations also are included in complaints presented on Tuesday to the Michigan Attorney Discipline Board.

    Professional punishment is to be considered for former Detroit Corporation Counsel John E. Johnson, Assistant City Attorney Valerie Colbert-Osamuede and city-hired lawyers Wilson Copeland and Samuel McCargo, along with Mike Stefani, a lawyer who represented Detroit Police officers who won a wrongful firing lawsuit against the city.

    Plaintiffs’ Attorney

    PDF: Formal complaint against Mike Stefani

    Defendants Attorney

    PDF: Formal complaint against Valerie Colbert-Osamuede
    PDF: Formal complaint against Wilson A. Copeland
    PDF: Formal complaint against John E. Johnson
    PDF: Formal complaint against Samuel E. McCargo

    Link: http://www.detnews.com/article/20090520/METRO/905200429/5-lawyers-accused-of-misconduct-in-Kwame-Kilpatrick-scandal

    This is incredible.

  2. “My second favorite organ in the body”

    Woody Allen talking about cranial matter.

  3. MikeA:

    “Why is it that in 36 years I’ve never been able to get a case like this?”

    you dont live in LA or NYC right?

  4. Mr. Charney explains, “I appreciate Woody Allen’s work, but I also appreciate the First Amendment.”

    This “right to free speech” being invoked in every conceivable situation that has nothing whatsoever to do with the government’s limiting speech has got to stop. Maybe the answer is more education on the constitution at earlier ages in the schools – I don’t know – but the First Amendment has absolutely nothing to do with this man’s perceived right to advertise his products in any way he wants.

  5. Why is it that in 36 years I’ve never been able to get a case like this?

  6. My husband always quotes Woody Allen ‘80% of success is showing up’! How true. Money always goes to money; also true.

  7. I’ve seen that brand of clothing at yardsales and thrift shops.
    It’s rather cheap looking apparel and I would be upset if someone used my image to sell them as well!!

  8. American Apparel chooses to use somebody’s image without permission to promote their clothing, and then when that person complains they go about trashing the person?

    Interesting marketing concept.

    “This person is so awful that we decided they should represent our clothing line … err, no, that didn’t come out right.”

  9. I thought I heard that the CEO of American Apparel said he still wasn’t sorry he used Woody Allen’s likeness on those billboards. I bet he has 5 million (plus attorneys’ fees)or so reasons now to be sorry. Maybe he’ll console himself with the old saw that “any publicity is good publicity.”

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