Angelina Jolie’s employee says actress ripped off her idea for deaf superhero
I asked Angelina straight up, 'How did this happen?'
A former employee of Angelina Jolie, hired to teach her children sign language, is accusing the Hollywood star of ripping off her idea for a deaf superhero, the Daily Mail reports.
Antoinette Abbamonte, who is deaf herself, made the claim after learning of a character in Jolie’s upcoming film ‘The Eternals’ with the same traits as her own.
Abbamonte, who worked for the 44-year-old Jolie from 2016 through 2019, e-mailed her in May 2018 about her idea for a superhero who could read people’s intentions and minds after losing her ability to hear.
Shortly after their email exchange, which was obtained by DailyMailTV, Jolie was tapped to star in the Marvel superhero flick ‘The Eternals,’ which is set for a 2020 release and features the deaf superhero Makkari, who will be played by ‘The Walking Dead’ actress Lauren Ridloff.
Now, Abbamonte is seeking credit and compensation for the idea, according to the news outlet.
“It appears that you expressly solicited the idea of the deaf superhero from Antoinette and commercialized it together with Marvel Studios and Disney without compensating Antoinette,” Abbamonte's attorney, Michael Ahmadshahi, wrote to Jolie’s legal team in an official demand letter on Sept. 13 published by the Daily Mail.
Jolie's team didn't respond to a request for a comment, the outlet reported.
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Abbamonte says that after she mentioned the superhero idea, the actress began to ask her more and more questions before the character eventually found its way into “The Eternals” script. Jolie’s prodding made Abbamonte so uncomfortable that she would physically tense up every time the Hollywood superstar broached the subject.
The demand letter to Jolie’s team claims the actress “sought to receive as much information from Antoinette about her deafness as (she) could.”
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Abbamonte says she learned Jolie had a hand in appropriating her idea when Disney and Marvel Studios announced the cast of the film, which Jolie is set to star in, at the San Diego Comic-Con in July.
“I asked Angelina straight up, 'How did this happen?'” Abbamonte claimed in the Daily Mail interview. “'Did you take my idea?'”
“She responded by saying, ''The universe works in mysterious ways.”
Jolie, who will be playing the role of Thena in the upcoming Marvel film, has yet to respond to Abbamonte’s claims. Meanwhile, “The Eternals” is scheduled to hit theaters on Nov. 6, 2020.
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