Scarlett Johansson awarded £2,000 following 'unauthorised, hurtful and demeaning' portrayal of her in fictional book
The actress had taken umbrage with French author Gregoire Delacourt's depiction of her in his 2013 novel
Friday 04 July 2014
Scarlett Johansson has won £2,000 in damages from a French author who penned a “hurtful and demeaning” depiction of her in a fictional novel.
The book, La Premiere Chose qu'On Regarde (The First Thing We Look At) by Gregoire Delacourt, tells the story of a woman resembling the Hollywood artiste, who is treated as a sex object, as well as becoming the envy of other women.
A Paris court ordered the writer to pay €2,500 to the complainant, after he was accused of using her image to promote the book.
Ms Johansson had been seeking €50,000 in compensation in addition to an injunction to stop the story being translated or adapted for the big screen – neither of which she was awarded.
The novel has sold 100,000 copies since it was published in 2013, according to news agency AFP, with the storyline told through the eyes of a garage mechanic.
The character, Jeanine Foucamprez, is involved in a number of relationships that Ms Johansson's lawyer, Vincent Toledano, said “never existed” for his client.
“For Scarlett Johansson, the fact that she is attributed two relationships that she never mentioned herself is hurtful and demeaning,” the court said.
When the case got underway in May, Mr Toledano said that the book was a “violation and fraudulent and illegal exploitation of her name, her reputation and her image,” much to the bemusement of the author.
At the commencement of the case, author Mr Delacourt said: “I thought she'd get in contact to ask me to go for a coffee with her. I didn't write a novel about a celebrity. I wrote a real love story and a homage to feminine beauty, especially interior beauty.
Gregoire Delacourt “If an author can no longer mention the things that surround us, a brand of beer, a monument, an actor… it's going to be complicated to produce fiction.
“It's stupefying, especially as I'm not sure she's even read the novel since it hasn't been translated yet.”
Mr Delacourt’s defence team called the judgement “derisory,” while Ms Johansson’s lawyer said he was “extremely pleased”.
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