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Wednesday, 12 June, 2002, 08:50 GMT 09:50 UK
Woody Allen court case settled
American film-maker Woody Allen
Allen worked on his latest film throughout the case
American film-maker Woody Allen has reached a settlement in his legal battle with his former producers, after both sides had accused the other of keeping film profits.

Details of the agreement, reached at the Supreme Court in Manhattan, New York, on Tuesday, were not revealed by lawyers for the case.

Allen sued his long-time friend Jean Doumanian - and her business partner Jacqui Safra - alleging he had been cheated out of $12m (8.1m) plus interest on eight films.

But Ms Doumanian and Mr Safra counter-claimed that all due money had been paid and that Allen in fact owed them.

Woody Allen with Helen Hunt
Sweetland produced eight movies with Allen

The settlement was reached on the ninth day of the trial and Allen's lawyer Michael Zweig issued a joint statement from the parties.

"The parties have reached a business resolution of the dispute. The case is over," Mr Zweig said.

Allen and Ms Doumanian have been friends for more than 20 years.

But all sentimentality was forgotten in the dispute, which centred around money from films made since 1993.

Allen testified that it would once have been unthinkable to sue Ms Doumanian but that "it was too much money to just cavalierly walk away".

At one point in the trial he said he had even suggested calling in a rabbi to mediate the dispute.

The films at the centre of the argument included some of Allen's most acclaimed successes such as Bullets Over Broadway, Mighty Aphrodite, Celebrity and Sweet and Lowdown.

'Heroine'

Allen claimed he had signed a three-movie deal with the production company Sweetland Films, run by Ms Doumanian, with a budget of $52m (35m).

But, he continued that eight pictures in total had been financed by the company, five films more than had been agreed.

American film-maker Woody Allen
Allen left court keeping details of the agreement confidential

Ms Doumanian and Mr Safra disputed the claim, saying their contract with Allen also applied to the five later films.

They added that Allen had been given the $19.5m (13.3m) he had been due.

Lawyers for Ms Doumanian described her as a "heroine" who had rescued Allen's movie career.

Ms Doumanian told the court she considered Allen ungrateful.

Mr Safra said they had backed Allen financially because they wanted to help "a friend in need".

See also:

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24 Dec 97 | Americas
31 May 02 | Entertainment
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