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Zooey Deschanel isn’t kicking shoemaker Steve Madden around in court anymore over a $2 million endorsement deal. Last week, the New Girl star filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit that claimed she was never paid any money.
The lawsuit was filed in December 2010 and alleged that Deschanel’s CAA agent Christian Carino negotiated an oral $2 million deal with Madden for the company to use the actress’s name and likeness in connection with shoes and accessories. Deschanel said that Madden then tried to negotiate the fee down to $1.5 million, but that the company never paid her.
Meanwhile, reps for Deschanel purchased a pair of “Candie’s Zooey shoes” at the website of Kohl’s Department Store and had them shipped to Beverly Hills.
The revelation of a “Zooey” shoe led to an amended complaint that asserted Madden had an exclusive contract with Candie’s to design, manufacture and distribute footwear. Besides breach of contract, Deschanel asserted that her publicity rights were infringed by the shoe that bore her name.
A judge at the L.A. Superior Court denied a motion to dismiss by Madden, saying a jury would have to determine whether there was a meeting of the minds between Deschanel and Madden and whether the defendants had Deschanel in mind when using the name “Zooey” for the shoe.
But a jury will not have the chance to consider the question of how footwear is named in the shoe business.
On the heels of final preparation for the trial to begin, the plaintiff’s lawyer formally requested that the case be dismissed with prejudice. Terms of any possible settlement are not known. Deschanel’s lawyer hasn’t responded to a request for further information on how the shoe dropped on this litigation.
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