First, American Apparel uses Woody Allen’s photo — dressed as a rabbi in a still from his Oscar-winning movie "Annie Hall" — on some billboards in New York and L.A. and on its website. Then Woody sues them, claiming he was neither contacted by the company, nor compensated for the use of his image.
That makes sense.
But his suit's claim that the ad ruined his reputation because the company is known for "sleazy" and "infantile" advertising, goes too far. American Apparel says Allen knows a little something about "sleazy" and "infantile" and that they can't ruin a reputation he's already destroyed.
AA now plans to bring up Allen's relationships to actress Mia Farrow and her adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn during the trial scheduled to begin in Manhattan on May 18, according to its lawyer, Stuart Slotnick.
"Woody Allen expects $10 million for use of his image on billboards that were up and down in less than one week. I think Woody Allen overestimates the value of his image," Slotnick told Reuters.
"Certainly, our belief is that after the various sex scandals that Woody Allen has been associated with, corporate America's desire to have Woody Allen endorse their product is not what he may believe it is."
For those of you too young to recall, Farrow starred in several of Allen's movies during a long relationship with the director that began in the mid-'80s and ended in 1992, when she discovered his relationship with her older adopted daughter, then 22, after finding nude Polaroids he’d taken of her.
His classic excuse at the time? "The heart wants what it wants." Nice.
During a bitter custody fight, Farrow also accused Allen of sexually abusing their adopted daughter Dylan, 7. Allen was exonerated of abuse charges. Farrow gained sole custody of the children.
Maybe American Apparel has a point. What do you think?
Photo: The ad in question. Credit: Curbed LA.com
Photo: Mia and Woody and her kids before the scandal. Credit: WireImage