Actor, writer, producer, and member of the legendary Fonda acting family, Peter Fonda filed suit over the use of his image on T-shirts made by Dolce & Gabbana USA and sold by Nordstrom Inc., which he alleged misappropriated his image and violated his right of publicity.
The $295 shirts featured a shot of Fonda on a motorcycle from his best-known film, Easy Rider, with the title of the 1969 film or Fonda’s name written on the shirt. According to Fonda’s complaint, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, he never granted the defendants permission to use his name, image, or likeness.
The two-time Academy Award nominee argued that the combination of his name and image reinforces the idea that the shirts were “endorsed and approved” by him. In addition to the T-shirts, D&G may have sold other clothing with Fonda’s image and likeness and used his name in advertisements for the products, he added.
Fonda “has suffered injuries to his peace, happiness, feelings, goodwill, reputation, image, loss of the fair market value of his services, and dilution of his current and future publicity value,” according to the complaint.
The suit seeks $3 million in damages for misappropriation of Fonda’s image and violation of his publicity rights, as well as interest, attorneys’ fees, and punitive damages.
To read the complaint in Fonda v. Dolce & Gabbana USA, click here.
Why it matters: The shirts were pulled from Nordstrom’s Web site, but in a statement, Dolce & Gabbana said the company acquired the rights to “usage of a selection of images” taken from the movie.