Saturday, October 06, 2018

Olivia de Havilland takes her "truth in docudrama" case to the U.S. Supreme Court

Back in 2007, IPBiz discussed California's anti-SLAPP law in the context of the Cha/Flamm plagiarism matter.
See Judge to hear anti-SLAPP arguments in Cha/Flamm matter on Nov. 20 .

Anti-Slapp issues arose in the context of actress Olivia de Havilland's fight against her false depiction in a docudrama.

In March 2018, the New York Times discussed an anti-SLAPP issue in the de Havilland/FX matter:

FX tried to have the lawsuit tossed last summer, on the grounds of California’s anti-Slapp (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) statute, designed to quickly set aside lawsuits that may be designed to chill free speech. But a trial judge surprised legal observers by ruling that Ms. de Havilland had sufficient grounds to proceed with her lawsuit.

Although de Havilland won on the anti-SLAPP issue, she lost at the California appellate level.

As to the core of the unsuccessful argument by de Havilland, the California appellate court noted:

“Books, films, plays and television shows often portray real people,” the court decision reads. “Some are famous and some are just ordinary folks. Whether a person portrayed in one of these expressive works is a world-renowned film star — ‘a living legend’ — or a person no one knows, she or he does not own history.”

See FX Prevails in ‘Feud’ Defamation Suit Filed by Olivia de Havilland

One would assume de Havilland would point out that a false statement is not history.

Now, in October 2018, de Havilland is taking her fight to the US Supreme Court

“We must persevere and speak truth to power,” the 102-year-old two-time Oscar winner said Friday as her attorneys petitioned SCOTUS in the ongoing legal battle. “The fight is itself important to the principle of honesty, so much in need today in the face of deliberate public confusion for selfish agendas,” she added in a statement from her Paris home

Having suffered a number of legal setbacks and defeats since filing her lawsuit in June 2017, — including the California Supreme Court’s decision in July not to review her case — de Havilland is seeking to have the nation’s highest court re-examine what jurisdictions in the Golden State have decided.

See Olivia De Havilland Takes ‘Feud’ Feud With FX & Ryan Murphy To Supreme Court


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