Wednesday 28 September 2016

Steamy French novel Scarlett Johansson tried to ban to go on sale in UK and Ireland

Published 27/08/2015 | 16:29

Scarlett Johansson arrives at the 30th annual Film Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday, in Santa Monica, California
Scarlett Johansson arrives at the 30th annual Film Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday, in Santa Monica, California
Scarlett Johansson
Actress Scarlett Johansson poses on arrival for the 2015 MTV Movie Awards

A steamy French novel which Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson tried to prevent being translated will be published and sold in the UK and Ireland.

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The First Thing You See by Grégoire Delacourt features a character who pretends to be Johansson but is actually an imposter.

He said that featuring the actress in the book was a "declaration of love" but Johansson sued him saying, via her lawyers, that the novel violated her privacy and was "a fraudulent and illicit use of her name, fame and image" for commercial gain.

The story is a love story and tells the tale of a young village mechanic in France who lives a quiet life but one day encounters a woman who claims to be Scarlett Johansson, but is just a lookalike.

At the time the book was published in France in 2013 Mr Delacour said he "thought she might send me flowers, as it was a declaration of love for her".

However, Johansson's lawyers said the material presented the actress as a sex object and deemed defamatory elements of the plot which saw the character have a love affair.

The lawyers sought damages of €50,000 and an injunction against it being translated for adapted.  However, Johansson was awarded just 2,500 in damages and the same amount for legal costs.

The publisher edited out the lines about the affairs, but the call for an injunction was thrown out.

UK publisher Weidenfeld & Nicholson will release the book in English in hardback and ebook on September 10.

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