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Uma Thurman's Lancome lawsuit

Uma Sues Lancôme. Whose Side Are You On?

Uma Thurman is having a litigious year. It wasn't long ago that her stalker fan was found guilty, but now she's suing Lancôme — to the tune of $20,000,000.

Uma's beef? As a former Lancôme spokesmodel, she complains that the French brand continued to use her likeness to sell products even after her contract had expired. For instance, Thurman's image showed up on Canadian billboards and Asian web sites after the contract expired. Lancôme, who filed suit against Uma earlier this week to beat her to the legal punch, claims that those were accidents. "The use of Ms. Thurman's image after her contract expired, however minor, was neither deliberate nor intentional," a spokeswoman said.

Uma is asking for at least $5 million for four separate claims, which could net her $20 million. Now, I'm no Matlock, but I think someone is asking for a pretty big payday, especially considering she was likely paid a few million dollars for her endorsement in the first place. Whose side are you on, Uma's or Lancôme's?


Join The Conversation
0danielle0 0danielle0 9 years
How does a company like Lancome expect anyone to believe something as big as a billboard could have been an "oversight"??? Please...
brown_eyed_grrl brown_eyed_grrl 9 years
It seems like a lot of money, but then, that's what celebs get paid for these things. If Uma had violated HER part of the contract, you can bet Lancome would have been all over her. If they accidently used her image four time, they need to pay her.
Envious-Pixie Envious-Pixie 9 years
I think that Lancome and Therman are using each other... If Uma does happen to win any money, I hope she gives it to charity
diorbaby diorbaby 9 years
I see Uma's point, but only because she could lose other contracts because of these photos. I also think this is a sue high/settle low situation, so I seriously doubt that she is going to actually receive 20 million from this suit.
Just-Oh Just-Oh 9 years
Pywacket is on a roll. Ms. Thurman makes money on her likeness and she has to protect that valuable asset. That includes making sure that she has control over who uses that asset and how much money they're paying to use it.
pywacket pywacket 9 years
AllaWallaBalla (cute kitty!) has summed it up well. This is a legal issue and the fact that some people find the amount of money she's asking for offensive, is understandable, but beside the point. First according to every respected news site on the web (I adore bellasugar, but it's not exactly my go-to site for news), she is asking for around $15 million, which is basically the amount of her four-year contract with Lancome and therefore, a rather obvious starting figure to ask for. This is public record, not conjecture. Second, Lancome's worldwide revenues in 2005 alone were 2.81 BILLION DOLLARS! That's BILLION with a B. Obviously, Uma's celebrity endoresment generated far more than $20 million. In our celebrity-obsessed culture, the value of celebrity endorsements can not be overstated. Celebrities are paid exorbitant (to some) amounts of money for their likeness and image because it generates exorbitant amounts of income for the company. Obviously, the company gains much more monetarily than the celebrity or they wouldn't hire celebrities to endorse their products. That's just simple business practice. While it's ludicrous to think that Lancome accidentally used her image multiple times on several continents after her contract had expired, it is even more ludicrous to think she should "just let it go."
AllaWallaBalla AllaWallaBalla 9 years
It's the principle here that counts. Lancome is a very, very rich company. How do you "accidentally" use someone's image on a billboard ad? While Uma is no poor model off the street, there's a reason why contracts exist in the first place and a big company like Lancome should know better than to "accidentally" abuse a contractual agreement. Besides, if they wanted to continue using her a spokes model, why not just renew her contract? Oh wait, that would cost money and they'd rather just get her endorsement for free.
reynolda reynolda 9 years
just because she's ASKING for 20 doesn't mean she'll get it-- almost every lawsuit starts with a big price tag b/c claimants sue on every ground they have. the end result is usually a lot more fair and reasonable as the claims that aren't that strong get cut.
rgrl rgrl 9 years
I can't decide... I feel like I would need to know more info about what happened before I take a side. It sounds like she should just let it go, but who knows what really happened. :?
Kimpossible Kimpossible 9 years
I'm on Uma's side with this one.
ModernGraceKelly ModernGraceKelly 9 years
I highly doubt they were making $20 million of profits from using her image... She's known, but not that well known throughout the world.
juliarose23 juliarose23 9 years
well i think that her asking price is a little ridiculous, but i think she should be compensated if they were using her face in advertisements...
the-makeup-blogette the-makeup-blogette 9 years
she shd be paid, but not that much...
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
I agree with emalove. Please, Lancome is a huge company they don't just have accidents. They didn't think they would get caught so they used Uma's ads.
emalove emalove 9 years
I think that Lancome was definitely wrong for doing that. And I certainly don't believe they were "accidents". Please. I doubt that Uma will get the 20 million she's asking for, but she should be compensated.
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 9 years
Doll112 has a good point. What if Uma was soliciting other cosmetics endorsement deals following the conclusion of the Lancome contract? These unexpected and unauthorized uses could have derailed other agreements.
Schaianne Schaianne 9 years
Funny thing is ... most pictures taken like this are the property of the company - why shouldn't they be allowed to use them again?
sunnynight sunnynight 9 years
She should be paid, but definitely not that much.
LArgent LArgent 9 years
As if Lancome's only excuse is that they didn't mean to use her image, that's so lame! Regardless, they used it, they should pay, whatever reason is behind it. $20,000,000 is a bit steep though.
pywacket pywacket 9 years
Okay, I read up on this because some of the details sounded odd to me. I've worked in the cosmetic industry for years and the idea some are proposing that she made way less than she is asking for seemed unlikely. Cosmetics contracts are extraordinarily lucrative and she apparently was making quite a bit. Around $17.8 MILLION DOLLARS between 2000-2004!!!!, the exact amount depending on them month the contract ended. According to AP/Reuters, her contract stated she was to make $5.8 million per year for 2 years and $3.1 million for each additional year. They also state that Lancome is not suing in the sense most of us think of. They are suing to have the judge drop her suit against them, which is a common first step in these matters. These news sites all quote Uma's lawsuit against Lancome as asking for $15 million from Lancome. A lot of money, yes, but in line with what she made from them, especially if her image was used numerous times on several continents as claimed. P.S. Thanks for the info Bellasugar+! :)
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
I'm on Uma's side.
LOVErickii LOVErickii 9 years
she should get some money but not as much as she's asking for
Silverlining10 Silverlining10 9 years
WOW, I've lost respect for Uma Thurman...$20 million is ridiculous! She got paid for taking a few pictures, and so what if they had pictures left over that they reused. That seems fair that they would keep the old pictures and leave them on advertisements until a new spokesmodel takes new ones. I understand that she should get paid SOMETHING, but she's such a sue-happy American, it's disgusting. She wants to get paid the amount of what, five movies??? Yeah, get over yourself!
vasanta vasanta 9 years
the company is wrong. let the courts figure out the amount.
meghanfox meghanfox 9 years
She should be compensated for those images being used after the contract expired, but 20 million is ridiculous. I doubt any judge would award her that much, especially because her original contract couldn't have been more than a million? Plus, I agree with pywacket that it is odd that Lancome preemptively sued her...
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