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Geena Davis has sued the owners of a Minnesota-based advocacy group for allegedly taking her idea for a charitable foundation and promoting it as their own.
The actress filed her lawsuit Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court against Joseph Kelly and Nancy Gruver, owners of the Dads & Daughters nonprofit organization, seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
Davis said in court papers that she came up with the idea for the See Jane foundation, which encourages balanced gender representation in entertainment for children, in 2004.
She alleges that Kelly and Gruver agreed to be the project’s fiscal sponsors after meeting with her and that she raised nearly $750,000 in donations. But the pair later informed her “that they were the owners of the See Jane project and whatever legal rights existed in the See Jane name and goodwill,” according to the lawsuit.
Kelly and Gruver also told others they owned the project, and have used Davis’ name and likeness without her permission to promote Dads & Daughters, Davis said in the lawsuit.
Phone messages left early Tuesday seeking comment from Kelly and Gruver weren’t returned.
Davis, who won a best supporting actress Oscar for “The Accidental Tourist” in 1989, has also starred in “Beetle Juice,” “Thelma & Louise” and the ABC series “Commander in Chief.”
Duluth-based Dads & Daughters advocates for girls’ well-being and creates programs and publications that support fathers’ involvement in the lives of their daughters, according to the group’s Web site.
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