Actress Scarlett Johansson is suing the French publisher of a novel for “breach and fraudulent use of personal rights.” She is also demanding a ban on “future transfer of rights and adaptations” of the book and seeks damages and compensation.
Why? Because the book, a best-seller in France, features a character who is mistaken for Johansson.
The Hollywood Reporter writes, “In the novel The First Thing We Look At, a woman shows up at the door of a mechanic in the northern village of Somme seeking help. At first the mechanic believes she is ‘Scarlett Johansson,’ though sixty pages later it is revealed she is not the actress but simply a doppelganger named Jeanine Foucaprez.”
The author is said to be “stunned” by the lawsuit, saying “I wrote a book of fiction. My character is not Scarlett Johansson, it is Jeanine Foucaprez!" The novel also mentions Ryan Gosling and Gene Hackman. So far, no word from their lawyers.
This lawsuit strikes me as bizarre and misguided at best. Let’s hope it gets the quick dismissal it deserves.