Woody Allen sues Amazon Studios over scuttled four-movie deal

By Irina Ivanova

/ MoneyWatch

Dylan Farrow interview

Woody Allen is suing Amazon Studios for $68 million, alleging the company breached its contract with the movie director when it backed out of a multiple film deal.

According to the lawsuit, filed Thursday in federal court in New York, Amazon and Allen signed a deal in 2017 committing to at least four films. Amazon said it "wanted to be the 'home' for Mr. Allen's films for the remainder of his career," according to the suit, and it wooed him and his production company, Gravier Productions, away from their previous backers.

But Amazon refused to distribute the first of Allen's films, "A Rainy Day in New York," the lawsuit alleges. It then backed out of the deal in response to newly resurfaced allegations that Allen sexually abused his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, according to the suit. Allen has consistently denied the allegations.

"Amazon has tried to excuse its action by referencing a 25-year-old, baseless allegation against Mr. Allen, but that allegation was already well known to Amazon (and the public) before Amazon entered into four separate deals with Mr. Allen — and, in any event it does not provide a basis for Amazon to terminate the contract," the suit says.

The suit claims Amazon did not have a right to back out of the deal and is seeking $68 million in damages.

Lawyers for Amazon said the agreement "became impracticable as a result 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," according to an email included in the suit.

Amazon didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

This is a developing story…

First published on February 7, 2019

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc.. All Rights Reserved.

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