Olympic gold medalist Oksana Baiul filed a right of publicity claim against NBC Universal alleging that the network publicized her as a headliner in two ice skating shows before she had agreed to the appearances. The complaint alleges that the network and Baiul engaged in initial discussion regarding the figure skater's potential appearance as the headliner in two ice skating shows however a formal agreement was never executed.
Baiul's complaint further alleges that NBC knowingly, intentionally and maliciously disseminated promotional and marketing materials for the skating shows, including a promotional packet, press release, radio and television commercials, listing her as a headliner and using her name and likeness without her written consent. In support of the $4 million Baiul seeks for reputational damages, she states that NBC's actions resulted in her being viewed as a "no show" which damaged her future commercial prospects, reputation as a performer and goodwill with her fans. Baiul also seeks $1 million in punitive damages.
NOTE: Companies should exercise caution in anticipating talent participation without a written and executed agreement. Typically talent will ask for approval over any materials bearing their name, persona, and/or likeness.