Katherine Heigl has decided that enough is enough and is dropping her $6 million lawsuit against drugstore chain Duane Reade which allegedly used a photo of her in their advertising campaign without her knowledge.
The image used by the company, according to Heigl, was obtained by the paparazzi one day, but without her knowledge, let alone consent. And, seeing as celebs like Katherine Heigl are used to being paid handsomely for pictures of themselves, Heigl was understandably pissed.
In the lawsuit, Heigl claimed that Duane Reade used an image of her to make money and thereby violated the false advertising provision of the Lanham Act. On top of that, using the picture without consent breaches numerous New York civil rights statutes.
Fortunately, instead of dragging the whole thing through a lengthy and doubtless costly court case, Heigl’s legal team came to a mutually acceptable agreement with Duane Reade and the lawsuit was dismissed last Tuesday.
Heigl’s attorneys spoke to reporters about the agreement reached, saying:
“Katherine Heigl and Duane Reade have worked out a mutually beneficial agreement. Ms. Heigl has voluntarily dismissed her lawsuit, and Duane Reade has made a contribution to benefit the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation. The parties have agreed to keep the terms of the agreement confidential.”
The Jason Debus Heigl Foundation was created by Katherine Heigl in memory of her brother, who was killed in a car accident in 1986. The charity itself provided welfare for sick and abandoned animals.
According to the terms of the agreement reached, which have not been fully disclosed, the lawsuit was dismissed without prejudice, meaning that Katherine Heigl can’t go back and sue the drugstore chain retrospectively at a later date.
The whole incident has thrown up other cases where celebrities are photographed without their knowledge and their images used to make money for companies, while never kicking back revenues to the celeb.
Hopefully, following the suit between Heigl and Duane Reade, large chains will think twice before using images of celebrities without their permission.