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De Havilland v. FX Networks, LLC
California Court of Appeal
230 Cal. Rptr. 3d 625 (2018)
FX Networks, LLC (FX) (defendant) aired Feud: Bette and Joan, a docudrama miniseries about Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. Well-known actors in the miniseries included Susan Sarandon, Jessica Lange, and Stanley Tucci. Olivia de Havilland (plaintiff) was a friend of Davis’s and was portrayed in the miniseries by Catherine Zeta-Jones. FX did not receive de Havilland’s consent to use her name. Part of the miniseries included a fictitious interview involving de Havilland. Overall, de Havilland’s character was on screen for about 4.2 percent of the miniseries. De Havilland sued FX for misappropriation of her name and right to publicity. The trial court ruled in de Havilland’s favor. FX appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Egerton, J.)
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