Page last updated at 10:16 GMT, Saturday, 10 May 2008 11:16 UK

Thurman backlash in cosmetics row

Uma Thurman
Uma Thurman was nominated for an Oscar for her role in 1994's Pulp Fiction

US actress Uma Thurman is countersuing French cosmetics firm Lancome for $15m (8m) over the use of her name and face in advertising campaigns.

Thurman, 38, claims the firm boosted its sales by allowing her image to be used on Canadian billboards and Asian web sites after her contract expired.

Thurman's legal action follows Lancome's on Wednesday in Manhattan.

The firm denied breach of contract and asked the judge to dismiss Thurman's original claim for $1m (512,000).

Until then, lawyers on both sides had been trying to come to an out-of-court agreement.

The actress's legal case claims Lancome enhanced its "prestige, stature and bargaining power" by helping retailers and others use her in advertising after September 2004.

The company gave the "false impression" Thurman was still linked to Lancome, her case says.

It also failed to tell wholesalers and retailers to stop using the ads that feature Thurman, said her lawyer Bertram Fields.

"Celebrities will now be careful about doing deals with Lancome," he told Reuters.

"They continued to use her photographs long after the contract was over."

'Good faith'

But Lancome says their contract with Thurman stated it was not responsible if third parties used her name and face after it ended.

Lancome's lawyer, Peter D Raymond, said his client "couldn't control everybody out in the world".

On Wednesday Mr Fields said he was surprised the disagreement had gone to court.

I thought we were negotiating in good faith," he told Associated Press.

"I guess the French decided to strike a pre-emptive blow."

But he added: "I'm delighted that the case will go before a jury. They got an enormous benefit throughout the world after the contract was over, and $1m million doesn't begin to do it."

Earlier this week, 37-year-old Jack Jordan was convicted of stalking and harassing the actress. He faces up to a year in jail.


SEE ALSO
Cosmetics firm sues Uma Thurman
09 May 08 |  Entertainment
Man convicted of stalking Thurman
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Uma stalker 'creepy not criminal'
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Thurman 'stalker' trial to begin
28 Apr 08 |  Entertainment
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