Television

Woody Allen settles $68m lawsuit with Amazon over ‘baseless’ sexual assault allegation


Woody Allen has settled his $68 million breach of contract lawsuit against Amazon Studios.

Allen filed the suit in February, claiming that Amazon backed out of a four-movie deal over what his lawyers called “a 25-year-old, baseless allegation” of sexual assault.

Dylan Farrow, Allen’s daughter with actor Mia Farrow, has long accused him of sexually assaulting her when she was seven years old in 1992. Allen has always denied the allegations.

Allen’s suit alleged that Amazon terminated their deal with the filmmaker in June 2018 because of “supervening events, including renewed allegations against Mr Allen, his own controversial comments and the increasing refusal of top talent to work with or be associated with him in any way”.

The suit sought $68 million (£53 million) in minimum guarantee payments from the four films, along with damages and attorneys fees.

Allen’s attorneys and Amazon’s lawyers have now filed a joint notice dismissing the case, with terms of the settlement undisclosed.

In the wake of the #MeToo movement and a number of op-eds by Dylan Farrow herself, actors including Michael Caine, Mira Sorvino, Greta Gerwig and Ellen Page expressed regrets about working with Allen. Timothee Chalamet and Rebecca Hall, both of whom appear in Allen’s latest film A Rainy Day in New York, additionally donated their fees from the project to charity.

Asked in June 2018 about his thoughts on the #MeToo movement, Allen said he should be its “poster boy” due to his “wonderful record” of working with women.

He also added that his name shouldn’t be associated with those of famous sexual predators, suggesting: “People who have been accused by 20 women, 50 women, 100 women of abuse and abuse and abuse – and I, who was only accused by one woman in a child custody case which was looked at and proven to be untrue, I get lumped in with these people.”

Amazon, which distributed Allen’s most recent films Cafe Society and Wonder Wheel, cancelled their planned release of A Rainy Day in New York earlier this year, handing Allen back the film’s US distribution rights. It has since been released in Poland and France by European distributors.

Allen most recently finished production on his latest film, Rifkin’s Festival, which was funded by Spanish production company Mediapro and stars Christoph Waltz and Gina Gershon.

Jeff Goldblum last week (7 November) said he “would consider” working with Allen again, echoing comments made by Scarlett Johansson in September, in which she declared that Allen “maintains his innocence, and I believe him”.


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