Filmmaker Woody Allen has filed a $68 million suit against Amazon for breach of contract, accusing the streaming giant of cancelling a film deal because of a "baseless" decades-old allegation that he sexually abused his daughter.
Amazon Studios entered an ill-considered five-picture deal with Woody Allen back in 2016, right around the time long-standing allegations of sexual assault against his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow resurfaced in the media.
"There simply was no legitimate ground for Amazon to renege on its promises", the lawsuit says. The head of Amazon Studios at the time, Roy Price, told Allen the $1 trillion company wanted to be his "home" for the rest of his career, according to the suit.
The film, starring Timothee Chalamet and Selena Gomez, was expected to come out past year after filming wrapped in 2017, but was shelved after allegations of abuse reemerged from Allen's adopted daughter Dylan Farrow in the wake of the MeToo movement.
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In January 2018, Chalamet revealed he donated his entire salary from the film to charities Time's Up, The LGBT Center in NY, and RAINN as he didn't "want to profit from [his] work".
Based on that conversation, Allen says that he finished A Rainy Day in NY and then started production on other projects because, as he claims to have understood, Amazon was simply pushing the film's release date.
That film was one of several to be produced with the Oscar-winning director under a series of agreements reached after Allen made the "Crisis in Six Scenes" program for Amazon, which was then a new content provider.
Allen is seeking $68 million in minimum guarantee payments from the four films in the deal with Amazon, in addition to damages and attorneys fees.
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Allen says Amazon sought to terminate the deal in June, and has since refused to pay him $9 million in financing for his latest film, "A Rainy Day in NY", his lawyers at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan allege.
Amazon didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
This story originally appeared on the New York Post and is republished with permission.
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