An anonymous actress has sued Amazon, claiming that the company's Internet Movie Database (IMDb.com) published her age without her consent.
In Hollywood, age matters. Most people consider it common knowledge that the older the actress, the less likely she will be able to become a breakout star.
That's exactly what Jane Doe, the anonymous Texan actress, alleges. She said she signed up for a paid version of the listing website, called IMDb Pro, in 2008. After signing up for the service, her birthday was published onto the site and her 40-year-old age was revealed.
The actress says that she looks younger than she really is. She's always been careful about keeping her real name and birth date under wraps.
But with IMDb blasting her middle-age status to everybody with an Internet connection, it's been hard for her to find jobs.
As unfortunate as it is, in showbiz "40" can be considered over-the-hill. And to add insult to injury, the actress claims that she even has difficulty auditioning for older roles because of her young appearance.
Now she wants $1 million in punitive damages from Amazon and IMDb. She also wants at least $75,000 in compensatory damages. She's filed claims of invasion of privacy, breach of contract and fraud, according to the AP.
There's a subset of invasion of privacy called "public disclosure of private facts" that the actress' claim could fall under. Individuals can sue if there has been a public disclosure of truthful information that is not of public concern. Whether "age" falls under this category is up to a court.
Depending on where IMDb found her personal information, they may be liable. The site initially said that they got her birth date from her agent. The actress that sued Amazon has staunchly denied this. But if IMDB published her age with information given to them from a third party, there's a chance they aren't legally responsible.
- Actress Sues Amazon, IMDb Over Revealing Her Age (ABC News)
- Invasion of Privacy (FindLaw)
- Nicollette Sheridan's 'Desperate Housewives' Suit Going to Trial (FindLaw's Celebrity Justice)