Attorneys for Ellen DeGeneres and Sandra Bullock filed court papers seeking dismissal of their joint court action alleging dozens of companies are using their images to promote beauty products without their permission, but both celebrities left open the door the litigation could be resumed.
The Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit, filed last November, did not identify any of the companies by name. But the suit stated the actress and the comedian/talk show host hoped to stop the entities from tricking consumers into signing up for monthly subscriptions to products the plaintiffs have never even heard of and do not support.
Lawyers for both plaintiffs issued individual statements explaining why their clients put an end to the lawsuit for now by filing court papers Monday with Judge Malcolm Mackey seeking its dismissal.
“Thanks to the discovery process afforded by our legal system, we have been able to unravel and dismantle the sordid and complex false endorsement scheme perpetrated against Ellen and Sandra,” said DeGeneres’ lawyer, Michael Weinsten.
“Having identified and confronted the principal wrongdoers, and having satisfied the goals of the lawsuit, our client has agreed to dismiss the lawsuit `without prejudice.’ This will allow us to refile in the event any new perpetrators make the ill-fated decision to steal our client’s names and likenesses to sell their bogus products,” he said.
Bullock attorney Michael Kump released a separate statement on behalf of his client.
“We are dismissing the lawsuit without prejudice to refile,” Kump said. “We succeeded in stopping the specific false endorsement ads we found and identified in the complaint and have at least alerted some consumers to be wary of ads they see on the internet.”
Kump added that he and Bullock “have no illusion that we made the slightest dent in the staggering level of corruption in the ecommerce marketplace from which so many profit, with no accountability or conscience toward those consumers whose hard earned money they have taken.”
The suit cited examples of the products the pair alleged had been promoted using their likenesses, including Bella Pelle Wrinkle Cream, Alessa Serum, Elliesse Serum, Lavish Skin Care, Life Cell Skin Care, and Glovella.
The lawsuit included a copy of an ad depicting DeGeneres in which she is quoted as saying she refuses to wear much makeup and that thanks to Elliesse Serum, she doesn’t have to.
DeGeneres did not make the statement and has never used the serum, the suit stated.
Another ad showed a photo of Bullock with a caption asking, “Sandra Bullock Leaving Hollywod (sic) to Focus on Lifestyle Brand?” The ad is “completely made up,” according to the suit.