Actress Scarlett Johansson has won a defamation lawsuit against French author Grégoire Delacourt for a character in his novel La Premiére Chose Qu’on Regarde (The First Thing You Look At).
According to The Guardian, Delacourt wrote a French model and Scarlett Johansson lookalike who was seen as little more than a sex object. The author said that the depiction was meant to be fiction. Johansson took offense to the portrayal nonetheless and sued in a French court saying that the author’s character was defamatory. Johansson claimed that the character had had two affairs that Johansson herself never really had. She felt that the book made fraudulent claims about her personal life and “exploited her name, image and celebrity,” according to The Guardian. She felt that the book should not be translated or made into a film. A judge dismissed these claims but did agree that the novel’s character was defamatory. Johansson was awarded €2,500 in damages and €2,500 to cover her legal costs. Her original claim demanded €50,000 in damages.
The author, Grégoire Delacourt believed his character to be a tribute to Johansson saying, “It was meant to be the highest praise, She is an archetypal beauty of our times, very human with a touching fragility,” according to AZCentral.
The Guardian reports that the book’s publishers J-C Lattés and Delacourt are happy with the ruling. "All her other demands, including damages of €50,000, were rejected, notably that there should be a ban on the book being translated or made into a film. We just have to cut out the bit about the affairs, which is just four lines,” Emmanuelle Allibert of J-C Lattés told The Guardian.
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