Scarlett Johansson Sues French Author for Using Her Name


A word of caution to aspiring novelists: when describing people in your masterpiece, try not to cheat by saying they look like celebrities. Sure, it may be an expedient way to swiftly move on from the tedious task of using phrases like “sweep of the brow” or “razor-beaked smile,” but, in the end, some particularly litigious celebrity might read your novel, see his or her name, and sue you for using it without permission.

That’s what Scarlett Johansson did when she (or the poor, college-educated someone whose job it is to scan all printed material for the the names “Scarlett” and “Johansson” sitting snugly side by side) found her name in a novel from French author Gregorie Delacourt called The First Thing We Look At. At one point in his novel, Delacourt, according to The Hollywood Reporter, writes about a young woman showing up at a mechanic’s shop in Somme. The woman isn’t Scarlett Johansson (that would be crazy), but the mechanic initially believes she is for about sixty pages, until it’s revealed (turn away, ye spoiler-averse readers) that she’s “simply a doppelganger named Jeanine Foucaprez.” Oh, well in that case!

Delacourt chose to make Jeanine Foucaprez a Scarlett Johansson doppelganger because he thinks Johansson is the “epitome of beauty today.” That’s why he was stunned to learn that Johansson had filed suit against publisher JC Lattes over the unauthorized use of her name in The First Thing We Look At. After all, none of the other celebrities Delacourt compared his characters to (Ryan Gosling, Gene Hackman) have objected. Then again, the [fabricated] rumor on the street is that Ryan Gosling is completely illiterate and Gene Hackman only reads car repair manuals, so…


Image via, Neilson Barnard

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