from the aggressive-discovery dept
How does just hiring someone that looks like someone else require a lawsuit? At no point when I braved my way through watching the commercial did I think to myself, "Oh, that's totally something Kim Kardashian would have done". I mean, if the commercial showed the actress, oh I don't know, waving the Armenian flag, that would've been one thing. And perhaps if the commercial showed her videotaping herself being nailed by a mildly talented R&B singer, I would have inferred the reference. But the casting call for the commercial didn't even call for a Kim look-a-like! The actress, Melissa Molinaro, told E! Online that her casting call had been "for a true dance pop superstar."Well, those questions may go unanswered now, as we learn that the two parties have settled the case. It would be very easy to assume that, with a settlement, Old Navy didn't feel as though they were in the clear enough to fight this all the way through. However, a couple of things are to be noted in this settlement.
First, as with many settlements, the terms have not been publicized. No dollar amounts have been discussed at all. So, when it comes to monetary settlement figures, we know exactly nothing. Or, more precisely, we know that Old Navy paid Kardashian somewhere between zero and twenty million dollars. The linked article suggests that the commercial has been pulled from YouTube, which doesn't seem to be the case since the embedded example above works as of the time of this writing. It looks like a whole lot of nothing, as far as I can verify.
Second, while the article doesn't indicate which party engaged to reach a settlement first, there is some interesting information of the full-court press Old Navy was preparing to unleash on Kardashian in court.
After the lawsuit was filed, attorneys for Old Navy parent The Gap were aggressive in the discovery phase, launching an investigation to see whether Kardashian's reputation has been tarnished.It sounds as though Old Navy (The Gap) was going to drag a bunch of Kardashian's personal life into the court room. This may strike some as vindictive, but I'd suggest that there was simply no getting around this. If The Gap wanted to investigate the impact of an alleged publicity rights violation had on someone who has made a name for themselves almost purely through exploiting their personal life (as is the case with Kardashian), that will inevitably drag that personal life into the courtroom.
Around the time the Old Navy commercial was cast, Molinaro reportedly was dating one of Kardashian's ex-boyfriends, football star Reggie Bush, who was one of the people The Gap wanted to depose. The Gap also had sought information about why the clothing retailer Bebe decided to drop its Kardashian clothing line, financial records concerning Kardashian's clothing deals and further information about "Kim Kardashian's reputation as a singer and dancer."
So, while there are no details on the settlement terms at this point, the coupling of a weak case by Kardashian with what would have assuredly been an uncomfortable witness list put together by The Gap, makes it very easy to imagine Kardashian wanting the whole thing to go away quickly. And if that acts as a deterrent to future lawsuits over so-called publicity rights, that's a good thing.