NEW YORK – Swiss watchmaker Raymond Weil has filed a breach of contract lawsuit against Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron.
In court papers filed late Monday in state Supreme Court, Weil said Theron signed an endorsement deal saying that from October 2005 through December 2006 she would only wear Weil's high-end watches.
That deal allowed Weil to use Theron's photographs in its advertisements in exchange for "substantial funds," court papers said.
Meanwhile, Theron had an endorsement deal to promote a Dior perfume, Weil's lawsuit said. The 31-year-old actress "was actually photographed wearing a watch from the Christian Dior line" at a March 14, 2006, news conference at a film festival in Austin, Texas, court papers said. A photo of her wearing the watch is included as an exhibit.
"Although the agreement clearly prohibits (Theron) from appearing in any advertisement for any jewelry, even for charity, she appeared wearing a necklace in an advertisement benefiting an AIDS charity, violating the agreement, from February 2006 to December 2006," the court papers said.
"Plaintiffs were led to believe and had a right to believe by their written agreement that (Theron) would not promote jewelry or watches."
A spokeswoman for Theron didn't immediately return a call Tuesday from The Associated Press.
The lawsuit doesn't say how much Weil is seeking in damages, but the watchmaker's lawyer, David Jaroslawicz, said his client had spent more than $20 million on the Theron advertising campaign.
Theron won a best actress Oscar for 2003's "Monster." Her films also include "North Country," "Mighty Joe Young" and "The Legend of Bagger Vance."