Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Thanks to the New York Daily News and eonline.com, we are well-informed regarding Zooey Deschanel v. Steve Madden, Ltd., a case in which the actress and singer (pictured, left) is claiming that various entities and individuals associated with the famous shoe designer (represented at right by a Beijing store) owe her $2 million for a breach of contract. The complaint, linked to above, is mercifully short. The basics are as follows:
According to Ms. Deschanel, in August 2010, her agent at Creative Artists Agency entered into an oral agreement with the defendants, collectively called "Steve Madden," whose terms provided that Ms. Deschanel would be paid a $2 million fee, plus various royalties in excess of the up-front fee, in exchange for the exclusive right to use Ms. Deschanel's name and image in connection with certain shoes and accessories. Ms. Deschanel further alleges that defendants sought to amend the contract to adjust the up-front fee downwards to $1.5 million, allegedly on the ground that a retailer was not supporting the agreement. Ms. Deschanel claims that she agreed to the new terms and fully performed by allowing her name and image to be used by defendants and by not allowing her name and image to be used by anyone else.
In October 2010, defendants allegedly breached and repudiated the amended agreement. Ms. Deschanel seeks to recover the original $2 million fee or in the alternative $1.5 million plus interest.