Scarlett Johansson has lost a court battle to stop a French novel being published in English.
Gregoire Delacourt’s book, The First Thing You See, is about a young village mechanic in France whose life is interrupted by the arrival of a woman who looks like Scarlett Johansson, but is in fact an imposter.
The author claimed it was a ‘declaration of love’ for the actress, but she didn’t see the romantic side and sued him.
The publisher, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, described it as a ‘tender love story about two fragile souls trying to love each other’. They took legal consultation before releasing it and have stressed that the character is a lookalike, not the actual Hollywood star.
When the novel was first released Mr Delacourt thought Johansson would be thrilled by the tribute. He said at the time: “I thought she might send me flowers, as it was a declaration of love for her.”
Instead he got a letter from her lawyers saying the book violated her privacy, constituted an illicit use of her name for commercial gain, made fraudulent claims about her private life and presented her as a sex object. One claim was about two affairs the character in the book has.
In that instance the Parisian court awarded her victory, with the publisher cutting out four lines about the fictional character’s affairs.
Fortunately for us though, it will be realised in English on the September 10.
And if anyone needs me on that day, I’ll be in my room. Reading.