Katherine Heigl Sues Duane Reade for $6 Million Over Use of Photo

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Actress Katherine Heigl filed a $6 million civil suit in a New York federal court on Wednesday against Duane Reade for using her name and a paparazzi photo in promotional material without her permission.

In the complaint, Heigl said she was photographed in March near a Duane Reade store in New York while filming a new television series. Duane Reade posted the photo on its Twitter and Facebook account with captions to "imply falsely that Plaintiff endorses Defendant," the complaint said.

A post on Duane's Reade's Twitter account on March 18 read: ""Love a quick #DuaneReade run? Even @KatieHeigl can't resist shopping #NYC's favorite drugstore."

The post, which is currently still live, includes a photo of the 35-year-old actress carrying two Duane Reade shopping bags, and a link to an item by Just Jared  that notes the actress visited the drugstore in Manhattan on March 16.

"The Heigl photograph is a typical ‘paparazzi' shot, depicting plaintiff walking on the street in New York City, in a private moment looking away from the camera," the complaint said in court documents.

"Use of plaintiff's image under these circumstances improperly exploited plaintiff's name and likeness, as a celebrity, for defendant's commercial advertising and purposes of trade, without authorization," Heigl's suit charges.

The actress, who won an Outstanding Supporting Actress Emmy for her role in Grey's Anatomy, asserts in her lawsuit that she is "a highly successful television and motion picture actress, producer and celebrity" who is in "high demand in the entertainment industry," and therefore is due not less than $6 million for the use of her celebrity name.

According to the complaint, Heigl issued a "strenuous objection" to the use of her photo before she filed the suit, but that he objection went unheeded.

Peter Haviland, Heigl's lawyer, said that they " expect Duane Reade to pay for its willful misuse of Katherine Heigl's name and likeness."

Haviland also said that Heigl intends to donate any money awarded in the The Jason Debus Heigl Foundation, a charity that was established in 2008 after her brother was killed in a car accident.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

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