Uma Thurman sues Lancome in advertising dispute
NEW YORK (AP) - Uma Thurman responded to French cosmetics giant Lancome’s lawsuit against her with one of her own Friday, taking their contract dispute over the use of her name and face in an advertising campaign to federal court.
The "Kill Bill" star said in her lawsuit that Lancome Parfums et Beaute & Cie boosted its worldwide sales and enhanced its "prestige, stature and bargaining power" by helping retailers and others use her name and likeness in advertising and promotions after her contract expired.
The suit seeks $15 million in damages.
Lancome tried Wednesday to shield itself from legal action by the 38-year-old actress. Saying she had threatened litigation, the company asked a state judge to rule against her claim that her name and face were used on Canadian billboards and Asian Web sites later than the contract allowed.
Thurman’s lawyer, Bertram Fields, has called Lancome’s state lawsuit "a pre-emptive blow."
The dispute stems from a two-year contract Thurman and the company signed in April 2000, with an option to extend the agreement for another two years.
The contract said Thurman would be paid $5.8 million for the first two years and $3.1 million for each additional year, if the company exercised its option.
Lancome claimed the contract specifies that the company was not responsible if third parties used her name and face after the agreement lapsed.
Lancome’s lawyer, Peter D. Raymond, said the company’s lawsuit would take priority in court because it was filed first.
"They involve the same set of facts and issues, so you don’t need both of them," he said.
The lawsuit capped a busy week for Thurman in Manhattan courts. On Wednesday, 37-year-old Jack Jordan was convicted in the state court’s criminal branch of stalking and harassing her.
Other celebrities who have endorsed products for Lancome include model Carol Alt and actresses Isabella Rossellini, Juliette Binoche, Mena Suvari and Drew Barrymore