Woody Allen sues Amazon for $68M, alleges breach of contract

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Actor and director Woody Allen filed suit against Amazon Studios on Thursday, alleging the company is in breach of contract for refusing to release his film “A Rainy Day in New York” and terminating a larger deal after resurfaced allegations of sexual misconduct.

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Allen, 83, reached an agreement with Amazon in August 2017 to produce four movies for its “Prime Video” streaming service. In the lawsuit, Allen claims that Amazon backed out of the agreement after his daughter, Dylan Farrow, renewed longstanding accusations that Allen molested her as a child. Allen has denied those allegations.

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“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 says. “There simply was no legitimate ground for Amazon to renege on its promises.”

Allen’s lawsuit claims that his representatives held meetings with Amazon officials in late 2017 and early 2018, where the company asked to delay the release of “A Rainy Day in New York” to 2019 amid fallout from the #MeToo campaign. Amazon’s former studio head, Roy Price, was forced to resign amid misconduct allegations.

After delaying the film, Allen alleges that Amazon canceled its release entirely and backed out of its remaining film obligations.

The company is said to have informed Allen that the deal had become “impracticable” due to “supervening events, including renewed allegations against Mr. Allen, his own controversial comments and the refusal of top talent to work with or be associate with him in any way, all of which have frustrated the purpose of the agreement.”

Allen is seeking $68 million in guaranteed payments under the original deal’s terms, as well as damages and coverage of legal fees.

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Amazon did not immediately response to a request for comment.

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