Gawker & 'McSteamy' Reach Settlement Over Nude Video
Gossip blog Gawker has agreed to pay an undisclosed sum to “Grey’s Anatomy” star Eric Dane and wife Rebecca Gayheart and remove a homemade video featuring the couple and former beauty queen Kari Ann Peniche from their website, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Reps for both Gawker and the couple declined to comment on the amount to the trade paper, but sources told the publication that value of the settlement was in the low-six figures.
As previously reported on AccessHollywood.com, last September lawyers for Dane and Gayheart filed a $1 million lawsuit against Gawker.com, which had posted the clips on their sites Defamer and Fleshbot. The couple had sued over copyright infringement after Gawker refused to take the clips down, following a cease and desist order from the couple’s legal team.
According to THR, because Dane manned the camera for some of the shoot, he owned copyright for some of the material. Other portions shot by Peniche entitled the former patient on “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew” to some copyright ownership. However, the couple reportedly bought her rights.
Copyright became a focus of the case because not long after Gawker posted the clip on its two sites, the couple registered it with the Copyright Office and sued claiming copyright infringement, THR reported.
More than 4 million streams of the clip were viewed while it was on the two websites, THR reported, and late last year the pair asked a judge to award them statutory damages of up to $150,000 per infringement. A judge, however, denied the request at the time.
An agreement was reached after the two sides agreed to private mediation and the settlement was filed with the court last week.
“Although we are confident that our use of the video on Gawker was protected fair use — because the posts already had been available to our readers for nearly a year and because we already had won an important decision from the court striking large parts of the plaintiffs’ damages claims — we agreed to remove the posts as part of a global settlement to avoid the burden of further litigation,” Gawker COO Gaby Darbyshire said in a statement, according to THR.
As of Wednesday, the clips had been taken down from Gawker’s sites.
Reps for Gawker, Gayheart and Dane were not immediately available for comment when contacted by Access Hollywood.
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