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Editor’s Note: Starting today, we’re going to post a few notable entertainment and media related court filings in a Hollywood Docket roundup each week. Not necessarily the higher-profile stuff we post about often, these will focus more on the smaller complaint filings that may have fallen through the cracks. Think of it as a weekly desk-cleaning of interesting cases.
Doe v. Szul Jewelry, Case No. 2007/604277 (New York County Supreme), filed Dec. 31
Claims: Publicity rights, unfair competition, fraud.
Allegations: An unidentified “37 year old female” auditioned for an online jewelry commercial. At the audition, she was told the ad the ad would be “of a comedic nature. The idea presented was that a shy average joe guy would get a beautiful woman and get her excited –- by placing a necklace on her neck.”
During the shoot, however, the director “directed Plaintiff to feign excitement while lying down” and the finished product is “entirely of a pornographic and/or sexually explicit or sexually titillating nature” without the comedic elements of the original concept. “At no time did Plaintiff consent to or authorize the use of her likeness, picture, image, or name to simulate a female having an orgasm or otherwise experiencing sexual pleasure.”
Filing attorney: Kevin Mulhearn, Orangeburg, N.Y.
Tritt v. Category 5 Records, Case No. 07-CV-1234 (USDC, M. Tenn.), filed Dec. 11
Claims: Breach of contract, fraudulent inducement, interference with business relationships.
Allegations: Ray Termini, head of the independent label Category 5, persuaded award-winning country singer Travis Tritt to sign a multi-album recording deal in December 2005. The deal “began to unravel” as Termini, among other things, “interrupted and interfered with the technical production of the recording” of the album “The Storm,” “mismanaged the album’s release” and fired most of Category 5’s employees before the release to radio stations of the second single from the album. “All of these steps, and others, were disastrous to the success of the initial release of ‘The Storm.'” Termini also owes Tritt about $307,000 in travel expenses he had agreed to pay and $399,000 in unpaid royalties.
Filing attorney: Robert Boston, Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, Nashville.
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