Charles Miller/IFC Films
Charles Miller/IFC Films
Can we talk about a legal win?
Joan Rivers can celebrate after an appeals court on Friday dismissed a lawsuit brought by a woman who claimed her privacy was violated after she appeared in the 2010 documentary: Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work.
In the opinion issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th District and obtained by E! News, the Justices affirmed a District court's decision to toss the complaint filed by Ann Bogie against the E! personality and IFC Films among other defendants for alleged breach of privacy and misappropriation of her image.
The Appeals Court ruled that Bogie lacked a "reasonable expectation of privacy" when she approached Rivers backstage after a performance, an exchange that was captured by the filmmakers' cameras and accounted for 16 seconds of screentime.
In her suit, Bogie said she attended the funny lady's stand-up comedy show during which Rivers told a joke about Helen Keller, which offended an audience member who had a deaf son and subsequently heckled her.
Bogie alleged that after the show she managed to get backstage where she and the comic engaged in a brief conversation in which Bogie expressed frustration with the heckler and sympathy for Rivers, a chat that ended up in the movie and distributed into theaters nationwide. The scene prompted Bogie to take legal action seeking compensatory damages and an injunction on further distribution of A Piece of Work, alleging it painted her in a negative light.
However noting their dialogue made up only 0.3 percent of the entire film, the judges asserted that "no reasonable person in plaintiff's position could have considered the backstage area private, nor could the alleged intrusion have been considered highly offensive by a reasonable person."
The court also pointed out that the two talked in crowded backstage area that included the camera person and three other individuals and noted the doc "is a matter of public interest" because it gives insight into Joan's comedic process and America's culture of celebrity.
Attorneys for Bogie have yet to comment on the dismissal.
For her part, Rivers offered an exclusive quip to E! News following the dismissal.
"Even though her lawsuit was uncalled for, I hope she didn't get stuck with huge lawyer bills," said the Fashion Police star. "And frankly, I don't know what she's bitching about—she looked better on camera than I did."