Katherine Heigl "Tried Repeatedly" to Settle Duane Reade Dispute Without a Lawsuit
Is one tweet worth $6 million? Katherine Heigl certainly thinks so. As previously reported, the Grey's Anatomy alum, 35, filed a $6 million lawsuit against Walgreen Co. subsidiary Duane Reade Inc. on Wednesday, April 9, claiming the company improperly used her name and photo to promote their brand. A source tells Us Weekly, however, that the actress tried first to settle the matter privately -- to no avail, apparently.
"Her attorneys reached out to Duane Reade after [the tweet] was posted," the insider tells Us. "They called and asked for it to be taken down, and Duane Reade ignored them. She tried repeatedly to have this settled without a lawsuit."
The tweet in question is a photo of Heigl carrying a Duane Reade shopping bag in New York City, where she's currently filming her new TV project, State of Affairs. Duane Reade posted the shot to its social media accounts, along with the caption, "Love a quick #DuaneReade run? Even @KatieHeigl can't resist shopping #NYC's favorite drugstore."
Heigl's complaint alleges that the post is a misappropriation of her celebrity, as well as false advertising. "We expect Duane Reade to pay for its willful misuse of Katherine Heigl's name and likeness," Peter Haviland, trial counsel for the star, said in a press release about the lawsuit. (A spokesperson for Duane Reade, meanwhile, told Us they "do not comment on pending litigation.")
The actress' attorney also noted that she intends to donate all proceeds from the lawsuit to charity. "Pursuant to her instruction, any monies recovered will go to a nonprofit foundation that she has worked for years to support," Haviland stressed.
That nonprofit is the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation, which was established in 2008 as a memorial to the 27 Dresses actress' late brother, who died in a car accident as a teen. The foundation aims to help shelter animals by sterilizing thousands of pets a year and assisting special-needs animals who have been abused or neglected.