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Jesse Eisenberg Sues for the Misappropriation of his Image in the Film Camp Hell

By Geisa Balla (geisa.balla@gmail.com)

"No good deed goes unpunished" begins the complaint filed by Jesse Eisenberg in the Superior Court of the State of California on November 22, 2011. In this lawsuit Jesse Eisenberg, an actor who starred in the horror film Zombieland, and best known for Academy-nominated performance in The Social Network, alleges that defendants Lions Game Entertainment Inc., and Grindstone Entertainment Inc., capitalized on Eisenberg's fame and public persona by falsely advertising the film Camp Hell as a film starring Jesse Eisenberg.

In this complaint Mr. Eisenberg alleges that he appeared in the low budget film Camp Hell as a favor to a friend. The plot of Camp Hell centers on teenagers who travel to a Christian Bible Camp led by a charismatic priest played by Bruce Davison. In the film, the Bible Camp turns into a nightmare when it becomes possessed by a demonic presence. The two main characters in the film are teenagers who are played by Will Denton and Connor Paolo. Mr. Eisenberg was approached by friends who were producing Camp Hell, and was asked to appear in a small role. He worked on the film for one day and appears on screen for five minutes, primarily in flashbacks of Bruce Davison's character. He accepted only $3,000 for this role, the SAG minimum compensation, and his name appears last in the list of cast credits.

The film was released on DVD on August 9, 2011. The cover of the DVD features a large photo of Mr. Eisenberg's face, and Mr. Eisenberg's name in large letters appears above the title of the film. The names or the photos of the three lead actors of the film do not appear on the cover (http://www.bloodygoodhorror.com/bgh/reviews/08/22/2011/camp-hell-camp-hope).

According to the complaint, Mr. Eisenberg was informed that his image would be featured on the cover of the DVD prior to its release. He objected to this use of his image and demanded that the defendants cease and desist from using it. However, the ddefendants refused to do so, and admitted to Mr. Eisenberg their intent to exploit his fame by prominently featuring him as the star of the film, hoping to lure in young viewers familiar with Mr. Eisenberg's work.

Mr. Eisenberg is seeking $3 million in damages. In his misappropriation of right of publicity claim, Mr. Eisenberg alleges that the defendants' unauthorized use of his image and their fraudulent and misleading advertising for Camp Hell has damaged his name, likeness and goodwill. In his quantum meruit claim, he states that he provided valuable services to the defendants by performing in the film and being featured in its advertising. The complaint also brings a claim for unfair business practices, alleging that the defendants have received ill-gotten results from their fraudulent advertising.

To view the full complaint, see http://images.eonline.com/static/news/pdf/eisenberg.pdf.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 12, 2011 4:57 PM.

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