American director Woody Allen has filed a 68 million-dollar lawsuit against Amazon Studios for cancelling a four-film deal that affected the distribution of his most recent project, A Rainy Day in New York. Amazon Studios cancelled the deal after a decades-old allegation that Allen had sexually abused his adoptive daughter, Dylan Farrow, resurfaced in the wake of the MeToo movement.
Allen has persistently denied the allegation, which was made by Farrow in 1992 and backed by her mother and his former partner, Mia Farrow. In the breach of contract lawsuit filed on Thursday, Allen’s lawyers said, “Amazon has tried to excuse its action by referencing a 25-year-old baseless allegation against Mr. Allen, but that allegation was already well-known to Amazon (and the public) before Amazon entered into four separate deals with Mr. Allen—and in any event, it does not provide a basis for Amazon to terminate the contract,” Variety reported. “There simply was no legitimate ground for Amazon to renege on its promises.”
The multi-starrer A Rainy Day in New York was completed in 2017. Some of its cast members, including Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Hall and Selena Gomez, later issued public statements of regret for having worked with Allen and donated their salaries to organisations set up to address allegations of institutionalised sexual abuse and harassment.
The romantic comedy, which follows a couple over a weekend in New York City, includes Jude Law, Diego Luna and Liev Schreiber in the cast. Allen claims in his lawsuit that in January 2018, Amazon Studios’ general counsel, Ajay Patel, had proposed delaying the film’s release until 2019, Variety reported. But in June 2018, Amazon Studios sent Allen a notice terminating an agreement to make four movies for the streaming platform. Allen claimed that the company did not provide concrete reasons for ending the arrangement.