Paris Hilton Sued Over Promotion of National Lampoon’s ‘Pledge This’19 May, 2009 By: Chris Tribbey
A lawsuit against Paris Hilton for allegedly failing to promote a direct-to-DVD release will go forward as planned June 8, after the judge in the case refused to dismiss it May 18.
First filed in August 2008, the suit brought by Miami-based Worldwide Entertainment Group alleged that Hilton broke her contract after she was paid $1 million to appear in the film National Lampoon’s Pledge This and promote it, but failed to do the latter. Vivendi Visual Entertainment distributed the DVD in 2006.
“The record evinces triable issues of fact as to whether Ms. Hilton was unavailable to promote the DVD release of the movie and whether any failure to promote the DVD release prevented a recovery of costs on the film,” U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno wrote in his refusal to dismiss the case against Paris Hilton Entertainment.
In the agreement between Hilton and Worldwide, the hotel heiress was required to perform “reasonable promotion and publicity services, with respect to the Picture subject to Artist’s professional availability.” But the judge wrote that he has been unable “to ascertain whether Ms. Hilton was actually unavailable to fulfill the promotion requests, or if she merely determined to ignore those requests based on personal distaste for the outcome of the film.”
“Assuming Ms. Hilton failed to promote the DVD release of the film, as required by the Agreement, [Worldwide] still must prove that her breach caused damages. The Court concludes that the parties factually dispute the impact of Ms. Hilton’s lack of promotion for the DVD,” the judge concluded.
Lawyers for Worldwide, which is now defunct, claim Hilton’s failure to promote Pledge This cost investors of the film more than $8 million. Original damages sought against Hilton in the Aug. 12, 2008 filing were more than $75,000.