Scarlett Johansson doesn’t want you to read a certain romance novel set for release in the U.K. on September 10. The steamy French novel is, according to the author, a “declaration of love” for the Hollywood actress, but Johansson is not impressed.
French author Grégoire Delacourt’s romantic novel, The First Thing You See, has been translated from its original French into English and is due for release in the U.K. in hardback and ebook on September 10.
According to the Mail Online, the steamy romance novel tells the tale of a woman who turns up on the doorstep of a young village mechanic in France. The woman appears to be Scarlett Johansson herself, although it turns out she is an impostor.
According to the publisher, the book is a “tender love story about two fragile souls trying to love each other.” However, Scarlett Johansson doesn’t consider the “tender love story” to be acceptable, even though it doesn’t actually refer to her by name.
The novel was published under its original French name of La Première Chose Qu’on Regarde back in 2013.
— The Independent (@Independent) August 27, 2015
Weidenfeld & Nicolson stress in the publicity material for the book that the character is a “lookalike,” and does not refer to Johansson herself.
When Delacourt first released the novel, he thought that Scarlett Johansson might send him flowers, as “it was a declaration of love for her.” However, instead of a charming bouquet, the author received a writ, shocking him completely.
In the legal documentation, Johansson stated that the steamy novel “violated her privacy” and constituted a “fraudulent and illicit use of her name, fame and image” for commercial gain. Johansson also stated in the legal papers that the book made fraudulent claims about her personal life and presented her as a sex object.
Her suit sought damages of €50,000 ($55,900) from the court in Paris, along with an injunction to stop the book from being translated to English or (heaven forbid) adapted for the cinema.
At the time the suit was launched, French publisher JC Lattés said the allegations were “totally scandalous.” A spokeswoman for the publisher said the suit was “all the more surprising [as] the novel is not even about Scarlett Johansson. It is about Scarlett Johansson’s double.”
The Independent quoted Delacourt himself as saying, “It freaks me out to think that when you talk of a character in a novel, judges can get involved. It’s rather sad.”
— The Last Word Review (@Thelastword1962) August 28, 2015
While the court in Paris awarded victory to Johansson, with damages set at a mere €2,500 ($2,795) along a further €2,500 in legal costs, the call for the injunction to stop the release of the book was eventually thrown out.
The publisher reportedly cut four lines from the book about the Scarlett Johansson lookalike character’s affairs and the book will be released in the U.K. in September.
With the extra publicity for the book resulting from Scarlett Johansson’s court case, will you be tempted to buy and read the novel? Let us know below.