Actress Katherine Heigl has filed a civil lawsuit against the New York drugstore chain, Duane Reade Inc., alleging that the Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG) subsidiary used her photograph, taken by a paparazzi, for promoting its stores.
The 35-year-old actress, who starred in “The Ugly Truth” and “Life as We Know It,” filed the lawsuit Wednesday in federal court in Manhattan and is seeking more than $6 million in damages. The complaint said that she was photographed in March near a Duane Reade store in New York while filming a television series. The pharmacy posted the photo of Heigl, carrying two Duane Reade bags, on its Twitter and Facebook accounts.
"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 lawsuit reportedly said. "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."
The 15-page lawsuit cited a tweet by Duane Reade posted last month with Heigl’s photo. The photo had a logo of “Just Jared,” a celebrity news website.
— Duane Reade (@DuaneReade) March 18, 2014
Peter Haviland, Heigl’s lawyer, reportedly said: “We expect Duane Reade to pay for its willful misuse of Katherine Heigl's name and likeness," and added that the money recovered from the lawsuit will be donated to The Jason Debus Heigl Foundation, which was established in 2008 after the star's brother was killed in a car accident.