News People Who is Scarlett suing?
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Who is Scarlett suing?

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Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson has launched a court case seeking damages from a French author whose novel features a character that closely resembles her.

The star is suing for 50,000 euros ($A75,740) in damages from the author and his publisher JC Lattes over the best-selling “La premiere chose qu’on regarde” (The first thing we look at).

The book’s heroine, Janine Foucamprez, is described as strongly resembling Johansson, who is due to attend the Cannes film festival this week.

The first part of the novel is told through the eyes of a garage mechanic who “resembles a better version of Ryan Gosling” and thinks Johannson has turned up on his doorstep.

The actress alleges the writer and publisher used her image and fame to publicise the novel, which has sold 100,000 copies since it was published in March 2013, and is seeking an injunction to stop it being translated or adapted for cinema.

The novel features amorous relationships that “never existed”, said prosecutor Vincent Toledano.

“It does what the tabloids do, it says anything.”

“Creative freedom” does not mean the author can use Johansson’s intellectual property rights without authorisation, he added.

But Anne Veil, for the defence, said no invasion of privacy had been committed, arguing that the book evoked mere “fads” and “flirts” but no relationships.

If Delacourt knew that Johansson would have “kicked up such a racket, he would have chosen someone else”, she added.

The tribunal is due to hand down its judgment on July 2.