Wednesday, February 7, 2007
Weil says in court papers the South African-born actress, who won a best actress Oscar for 2003's Monster, signed an endorsement deal saying that from October 2005 through December 2006 she would only wear Weil's high-end watches.
That deal allowed Weil to use Theron's photographs in its advertisements in exchange for "substantial funds", court papers say.
Meanwhile, says Weil's lawsuit, the 31-year-old Theron, who also starred in North Country, Mighty Joe Young and The Legend Of Bagger Vance, had an endorsement deal to promote a Dior perfume.
At a news conference on March 14, 2006, at a film festival in Austin, Texas, court papers say, Theron "was actually photographed wearing a watch from the Christian Dior line". A photo of her wearing the watch is included as an exhibit.
The court papers also say: "Although the agreement clearly prohibits (Theron) from appearing in any advertisement for any jewellery, even for charity, she appeared wearing a necklace in an advertisement benefiting an Aids charity, violating the agreement, from February 2006 to December 2006."
"Plaintiffs were led to believe and had a right to believe by their written agreement that (Theron) would not promote jewellery or watches," court papers say.
The lawsuit does not say how much Weil is seeking in damages, but the watchmaker's lawyer, David Jaroslawicz, says his client spent more than $20-million on the Theron advertising campaign.
A spokesperson for Theron did not immediately return a call for comment.
[Meredith R. Miller]