Woody Allen sues Amazon Studios for $68 million for breach of film deal

Woody Allen has filed a $68 million lawsuit against Amazon Studios, claiming that Amazon breached a contract by refusing to distribute his most recent film and terminating a four-picture production and distribution deal without cause.

Allen says in the lawsuit filed Thursday in the Southern District of New York by Gravier Productions and Allen that Amazon backed out to distribute his film “A Rainy Day in New York” back in June after claims resurfaced that he sexually molested his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow, accusations that first surfaced in August 1992. Allen has repeatedly denied those accusations and in the lawsuit calls the claims “baseless.” He now seeks $68 million in damages.

“Amazon has tried to excuse its action by referencing a 25-year-old baseless allegation against Mr. Allen, but that allegation was already well-known to Amazon (and the public) before Amazon entered into four separate deals with Mr. Allen–and in any event, it does not provide a basis for Amazon to terminate the contract,” the suit reads.

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Woody Allen with celebrities through the years
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Woody Allen with celebrities through the years
Director Woody Allen (2ndL) and cast members Blake Lively (L), Kristen Stewart (C), and Jesse Eisenberg (2ndR) and Cannes Film festival president Pierre Lescure pose on the red carpet as they arrive for the opening ceremony and the screening of the film "Cafe Society" out of competition during the 69th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, May 11, 2016. REUTERS/Yves Herman
Director Woody Allen (C), cast members Emma Stone (L) and Parker Posey pose on the red carpet as they arrive for the screening of the film "Irrational Man" out of competition at the 68th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, May 15, 2015. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Director Woody Allen (C), cast members Blake Lively (R) and Kristen Stewart pose during a photocall for the film "Cafe Society" out of competition, before the opening of the 69th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, May 11, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
Director Woody Allen and cast members Penelope Cruz (2nd L), Greta Gerwig (L) and Alison Pill pose at the premiere of "To Rome with Love" during the opening night of the Los Angeles Film Festival at the Regal Cinemas in Los Angeles, California June 14, 2012. The movie opens limitedly in the U.S. on June 22. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
U.S. film director Woody Allen (C) poses with actors Adrien Brody (L), Owen Wilson (2ndL), Rachel McAdams (2ndR) and Michael Sheen (R) as they arrive for the screening of their film "Midnight in Paris" and for the opening ceremony of the 64th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes May 11, 2011. Twenty films compete at the May 11 to 22 cinema showcase with an impressive roll call of major screen stars, revered "auteur" directors and relative newcomers. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler (FRANCE - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
Director Woody Allen (R) arrives with cast member Lea Seydoux for the screening of "Midnight In Paris" and for the opening ceremony of the 64th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, May 11, 2011. Twenty films compete at the May 11 to 22 cinema showcase with an impressive roll call of major screen stars, revered "auteur" directors and relative newcomers. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann (FRANCE - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
Director Woody Allen (L) and cast member Naomi Watts (R) arrive on the red carpet for the screening of the film "You will meet a tall dark stranger" at the 63rd Cannes Film Festival May 15, 2010. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard (FRANCE - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
U.S. film director Woody Allen (C), Spanish actress Penelope Cruz (L) and actor Javier Bardem pose during a photocall to promote Allen's latest film "Vicky Cristina Barcelona", in Barcelona September 20, 2008. REUTERS/Gustau Nacarino (SPAIN)
Actress Scarlett Johansson, star of director Woody Allen's new film "Vicky Cristina Barcelona", poses with Allen at the film's premiere in Los Angeles August 4, 2008. REUTERS/Fred Prouser (UNITED STATES)
American actress Debra Messing (R) holds American director Woody Allen's head during a photocall for Allen's film "Hollywood Ending" at the 55th International Film Festival in Cannes, May 15, 2002. [Twenty-two films are in competition for the prestigious Palme d'Or at the film jamboree on the French Riviera which begins today with the out of competition screening of "Hollywood Ending". ]
Director Woody Allen poses with Mariel Hemingway (L) and Kirstie Alley stars from the ensemble of his new film "Deconstructing Harry" in Los Angeles, December 5. The film about a Manhattan writer's creative and erotic life stars an ensemble cast including [Demi Moore, Billy Crystal, and Elisabeth Shue.]
CIRCA 1996: Actor Edward Norton and actress Drew Barrymore listens to director Woody Allen on the set of the Miramax movie 'Everyone Says I Love You' circa 19961. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - CIRCA 1991: Woody Allen With Helena Bonham, Carter At 'Woody Allen' Performs With The New Orleans Jazz Band (Photo by Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Don't Drink the Water - 1994: (L-R) Michael J. Fox, Mayim Bialik, Woody Allen on 'Don't Drink the Water' movie set. (Photo by Brian Hamill/ABC via Getty Images)
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A representative for Amazon did not immediately reply for comment.

The lawsuit says that his relationship with Amazon began to falter after Roy Price resigned as President of Amazon Studios in the wake of a sexual harassment scandal. Allen says Amazon reached out to his representatives in December 2017 to discuss the negative publicity and “reputation harm” that had come because of Price and that they had agreed to push the release of “A Rainy Day in New York” from 2018 to 2019.

But in June 2018, the lawsuit says Allen received a termination notice and did not receive any legal basis for doing so.

More to come…

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