Katherine Heigl

Jose Perez, PacificCoastNews

UPDATE: On Aug. 27, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Heigl had withdrawn her lawsuit and the complaint had been dismissed with prejudice after working out a "mutually beneficial agreement." Her attorney told THR: "Ms. Heigl has voluntarily dismissed her lawsuit, and Duane Reade has made a contribution to benefit the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation. The parties have agreed to keep the terms of the agreement confidential."

Duane Reade has since removed the tweet that Heigl objected to in her $6 million suit. She had always maintained that any damages won would go to her animal welfare foundation, named after her late brother.


Katherine Heigl confounded some by suing drugstore chain Duane Reade for tweeting out a picture of her and posting it on Facebook in order to let the world know that she had shopped there.

So let her attorney explain why she has filed a $6 million lawsuit against the company for unauthorized advertising.

"News photos of people—not just celebrities or athletes in the sports pages, but also ordinary people who may be photographed because of an accident or flood or fire—appear in the papers every day. That doesn't give a profit-making company like Duane Reade the right to take a news photo  of you or your son or daughter, modify it to their benefit, and make it part of an advertising campaign," Heigl's lawyer Peter L. Haviland told E! News Thursday.

Heigl's suite was filed yesterday in federal court in Manhattan. Duane Reade is based in New York and the paparazzi photo in question was snapped as she was leaving a Big Apple branch.

Katherine Heigl


"Everyone, including a celebrity, has the right to decide whether to become the poster-child for a particular corporation's commercial advertising," Haviland continued. "Katherine Heigl is asserting her rights under this principle—known as the 'right of publicity' under New York law.  She's doing this not for personal gain or self-promotion, but to protect an important right that each of us has to decide whether or not we want to be associated with a company's advertising. Any financial benefit will go not to her, but to the non-profit  Jason Debus Heigl Foundation."

The 27 Dresses star had noted in her suit that any damages she collected would go toward the animal-welfare foundation named after her late brother.

Heigl's suit charges that Duane Reade's actions were a violation of federal and state law and that the company refused to take down the tweet and Facebook post in question despite a cease-and-desist request from her legal camp.

Meanwhile, the actress has been blowing up her own Twitter account with pictures from the set of the pilot she's shooting for the political drama State of Affairs.

"Kinda having the time of my life with these guys! #StateOfAffairs," she tweeted yesterday along with a pic of herself with some of her costars, including Adam Kaufman and Alfre Woodard.

—Additional reporting by Claudia Rosenbaum

(Originally published April 10, 2014, at 3:40 p.m. PT)

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