Eva Green found High Court battle ‘painful and damaging' experience
Eva Green’s High Court battle with a production company was a “painful and damaging” experience, the Hollywood actress has said.
The Casino Royale star, who won her claim to a million-dollar (£810,000) fee for abandoned film A Patriot, said she had been used as a “scapegoat” and faced “false allegations” during her legal action against White Lantern Film.
In a statement issued on Friday, the 42-year-old said allegations against her, which included claims she undermined the independent film’s production and renounced her contract, had been “wholly rejected” by a judge.
She added: “My professional reputation has been upheld.”
The actress continued: “In this legal action I was 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 bully-boy tactics.
“They made false allegations about me in public court documents which the judge has now shown are totally incorrect.”
In thier later own statement, White Lantern Film and lender SMC Speciality Finance (SMC), who brought a counter-claim against Ms Green, said the suggestion that legal action “was motivated by or represented gender-based bullying is completely unwarranted”.
“It does not reflect the judgment in any way, nor the evidence that was heard at court,” they added.
Ms Green also used her statement to criticise media coverage of the case, which made headlines during a trial in London earlier this year.
“A few people in the press were only too delighted to re-print these lies without proper reporting. There are few things the media enjoys more than tearing a woman to pieces,” she claimed.
“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 the 11-day trial, messages sent by Ms Green to her associates were revealed in court, which included her describing potential crew members as “shitty peasants”, the production as a “B-shitty-movie” and an executive producer as “pure vomit”.
Ms Green also spent two days giving evidence from the witness box, facing questions from White Lantern Film and SMC’s lawyers.
The actress continued in her statement: “As a result of this case, the cat’s well and truly out of the bag that I am mildly terrified of public speaking, that I don’t understand technical financial structures, that I am fragile in the face of aggression, that I’m passionate about my work and that my heart breaks when people are unkind.
“I’m also the kind of person who escapes through the back door at parties and is happiest at home alone with my dogs.
“But, most importantly, I want to add that I’m also at my happiest when I’m making the films that I love and that I believe in, working side-by-side with brilliant crews in the UK and overseas.
“Therefore, the deliberate misreporting by some of the press has amplified the pain to a huge degree and has been more painful than I can say.”
Ms Green sued White Lantern Film after production on sci-fi film A Patriot was shuttered in October 2019, claiming she was still entitled her fee for the dystopian thriller despite its cancellation.
“I fought tooth and nail to defend the beautiful film that I loved and had signed on for,” the actress said.
“A film that spoke of a cause I hold dear – climate change – and warned of the resource wars and mass migration that would occur if we don’t address the problem.
“I stood my ground, and this time, justice prevailed.”
Ms Green concluded: “I wish I could say that this ordeal has made me stronger, better, wiser.
“But to have my personal life dragged through the press and the court was more painful and damaging than I can say.
“Which is why I want to thank those kind people who, when I was being vilified by the press, supported me, on social media and on other platforms.
“It was a great comfort to me to know that I wasn’t alone and it helped to know that so many people could see through the legal tricks, the PR and the spin.
“I promise with all my heart, I will always strive to deserve the kind support that you have given me.”
White Lantern Film and SMC said Ms Green complained about “things that she herself wrote and said”, adding: “Her comments, emails and WhatsApps were examined in order to establish whether she intended to quit the project, or would have proceeded with it. That was the key evidential issue before the court.
“SMC has a long and proud record of financing and championing producers, directors, writers and acting talent of all genders, from Oscar winners to first-time female directors. It is preposterous to suggest that Ms Green’s gender played any role in our decision to defend ourselves against this legal claim,” they said.