Chaplins sue the lottery for $1m

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CHARLIE CHAPLIN'S daughter said yesterday that she wanted $1m (pounds 600,000) from the Israeli state lottery for using her father's "Little Tramp" character to promote its business.

Josephine Chaplin told a Tel Aviv district court that her family never would have allowed the national lottery to use the silent film star's famous image of a hobo in a bowler hat because her father disapproved of gambling.

"We don't lend the image of our father" to sell lottery tickets, the film star's daughter told Israel's army radio.

"His films have messages to humanity against dictatorship, against war, against hate, and now they're being used to sell lottery tickets. It's despicable," Ms Chaplin told reporters.

An Israeli court had already ruled that the national lottery violated the family's rights to Chaplin's image in an advertising campaign begun in 1991. Yesterday's hearing was to determine the amount of damages. The hearing was to continue today, but a decision is not expected for several months.

The Chaplin family's Israeli lawyer Liad Whatstein said the company imitated scenes and images from Chaplin blockbusters such as Gold Rush, The Kid and Modern Times in a four-year advertising campaign that boosted lottery ticket sales.

Mr Whatstein said the family routinely refuses to license Chaplin's image for gambling, alcohol or military promotions because they conflict with the late star's principles.(AP)