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Amazon Studios Counter Sues Woody Allen for Breach of Contract

By Richard Oct. 19, 2019

Update: Woody Allen and Amazon have settled their lawsuit as of November 10, 2019. Although the terms of settlement are confidential, one involved person remarked that there were no winners in the settlement. Of course, most settlements end up that way, with both sides somewhat unhappy.

Now both parties can hopefully move on to bigger and better things.

. . . 

As you may recall, we discussed the lawsuit that Woody Allen filed against Amazon Studios. Allen sued Amazon for $68 million for breach of contract, alleging that Amazon improperly and without justification, failed to promote his latest movie and terminated the four movie deal that Allen and Amazon had signed.

Amazon has now fired back by asking the court to dismiss portions of Allen’s complaint because it was justified in terminating the four-movie deal. Amazon alleged that Allen made disparaging comments on social media and otherwise regarding the #metoo movement, and also made comments about the accusations his stepdaughter has leveled against him. Because of these actions by Allen, which occurred near the time that Amazon was to begin promoting the first movie, Amazon believed it would never receive any benefit from the four-picture deal because of the horrible publicity.

Allen had publicly sympathized with Harvey Weinstein after his accusers had come forward and made light of his stepdaughter’s allegations of abuse as her taking advantage of the #metoo movement. Allen’s lawyers dismissed the motion as relying on a “25-year-old baseless allegation against Mr. Allen” to support its claims and argued that the company lacked any legitimate basis to terminate the parties’ contract.

The court will not be able to consider any of Amazon’s references outside of the complaint, as it is limited to reviewing the “four corners of the complaint” under applicable procedural rules. Instead, it will face the real argument, that Allen’s numerous claims are repetitive and duplicative of the central breach of contract claim. Allen maintains he is entitled to recover a measure of money damages from Amazon.

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