An actress identified only as Jane Doe has sued Amazon.com and IMDb for revealing her age, which the actress claims was calculated from credit card data she supplied when she registered for an IMDbPro account in 2008.
The Internet Movie Database is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amazon.com.
The plaintiff, Jane Doe, named Amazon.com, Inc. and IMDb.com, Inc. as defendants in her complaint for damages and injunctive relief. The Hollywood Reporter obtained a copy of the lawsuit, which can be read in full here.
The plaintiff argues that she is entitled to damages ($1 million) because the reveal of her legal age interferes with her ability to get acting work in Hollywood.
In the entertainment industry, youth is king, the complaint reads. If one is perceived to be 'over-the-hill,' i.e., approaching 40, it is nearly impossible for an up-and-coming actress, such as the Plaintiff, to get work as she is thought to have less of an upside, therefore, casting directors, producers, directors, agents/managers, etc. do not give her the same opportunities, regardless of her appearance or talent.
The plaintiff argues the age revelation puts her in between a proverbial rock and a hard place: While her biological age might prevent her from getting roles playing younger women, she apparently is so young-looking that she can't get roles playing women who are closer to her real age:
Plaintiff has experienced rejection in the industry for each '40-year-old' role for which she has interviewed because she does not and cannot physically portray the role of a 40-year-old woman.
The lawsuit takes aim at the means used to obtain the personal data, arguing that the plaintiff's legal name and birthdate must have been obtained from billing information the actress supplied when registering for IMDbPro, the paying subscription service that provides access to more comprehensive information available to non-subscribers.
Prior to subscribing to IMDbPro, there were absolutely no means by which Defendants could have obtained Plaintiff's legal name or date of birth, the complaint reads.
Upon information and belief, IMDb obtained Plaintiff's date of birth by performing records searches using the credit card information obtained from Plaintiff during the IMDbPro subscription process, including, but not limited to, the cardholder name, address and zip code.
A representative for IMDb reportedly told The Associated Press that the plaintiff's agent provided her birthdate, but the plaintiff's lawyer, John J. Dozier, disputes that claim.
We're comfortable they didn't get it from the source they say they got it from, Dozier told The AP.
So, who is this mysterious Jane Doe?
All we know from information gleaned from the lawsuit is that the actress is of Asian descent, is a Texas domiciliary, and adopted an Americanized stage name. She began using the Internet Movie Database in 2003 and registered for IMDbPro in 2008. Although her legal age is not specified in the court document, we think it's safe to assume she is not 22.
Very few recognizable actresses meet any or all of the criterion clues provided in the compaint. Lucy Liu, arguably the most famous Asian-American actress, is hardly up-and-coming, was born and raised in Queens, and -- while she certainly looks younger than her age -- has been active since the 1990s. (Also, this doesn't feel like the kind of thing Lucy Liu would care about at all, and she probably doesn't need the money).
Kelly Hu definitely looks younger than her birthdate suggests, but there is no evidence she ever lived in Texas.
Yunjin Kim, of Lost fame, is a younger-looking actress in her late 30s, but again, there is no indication she lives or has ever lived in Texas. And Yunjin doesn't sound like a stage name.
Teli Tequila comes close: She is of Asian descent, uses an Americanized stage name, hails from Texas (she moved there when she was very young), and has been active on IMDb since 2003, which is the same year the plaintiff said she started using the database. But according to her bio, she's only 29 -- hardly over the hill, even by Hollywood standards.
It seems likely, then, that this actress is far from a household name.
But we still want to hear your guesses!