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Eva Green wins high court battle over collapse of sci-fi film

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Eva Green has hailed her victory over what she described as a group of men who tried to use her as a scapegoat, after winning a bruising legal battle over the collapse of a sci-fi film.

The actor had sued White Lantern Films and SMC Speciality finance for a $1m (£802,000) fee that she said she was owed. However, she faced a counter-claim alleging she pulled out of the making of A Patriot, which collapsed in 2019, and breached her contract.

In a judgment on Friday, Mr Justice Michael Green ruled in her favour, saying she was entitled to the fee and dismissed the counter-claim.

Her victory follows a case in which Green gave evidence, saying it was “humiliating” that private Whatsapp messages she had sent were revealed in court.

Those messages included her comments about being “obliged to take [the producer’s] shitty peasant crew members from Hampshire” after the location was switched from Ireland. They also included her description of the production as a “B-shitty-movie” and the executive producer, Jake Seal, as “pure vomit”, a “devious sociopath” and “evil”.

Reacting to the judgment, Green said she had been “forced to stand up to a small group of men, funded by deep financial resources, who tried to use me as a scapegoat to cover up their own mistakes”.

“I am proud that I stood up against their bullyboy tactics,” she added.

“A few people in the press were only too delighted to reprint these lies without proper reporting. There are few things the media enjoys more than tearing a woman to pieces. It felt like being set upon by hounds; I found myself misrepresented, quoted out of context, and my desire to make the best possible film was made to look like female hysteria. It was cruel and it was untrue.”

During her evidence, Green denied the allegations that she was not prepared to go ahead with the project, saying: “In the 20 years that I have been making films, I have never broken a contract or even missed one day of shooting.”

In the 71-page judgment, released by email, Mr Justice Green concluded: “In particular, I find that Ms Green did not renounce her obligations under the artist agreement; nor did she commit any repudiatory breaches of it.”

He described Green as “in some senses a frustrating and unsatisfactory witness”, adding: “But for such a perfectionist in her art, she was surprisingly underprepared for her evidence.

“I understand the torment it must have been for her to have all her private texts and WhatsApp messages revealed in open court and scrutinised for what they disclosed about her true state of mind and intentions in relation to the film. She said it was ‘humiliating’ but some of her explanations for the language she used and the feelings she expressed – such as they were down to her ‘Frenchness’ – were not credible or adequate.”

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Nevertheless, the judge said he believed allowances needed to be made for “the heightened emotions that were clearly present” when some of the messages were written and as these were assumed to be personal correspondence between friends.

While he added that he had to be cautious about accepting her spin on her words, the broad thrust of her evidence was “credible and fitted with her general commitment to the film”.

“I take account of her evident emotional and forthright personality in explaining her more extreme comments about Mr Seal, whom she clearly detested even though she only met him once,” he said.

The film company has been approached for comment.

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( With inputs from : www.theguardian.com )

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