Gene Kelly's widow has filed suit against the executives of an American company over allegations they signed a deal to manufacture merchandise featuring the SINGIN' IN THE RAIN star's image without her permission.
Patricia Ward Kelly filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles on Friday (09Apr10) claiming she was approached by Stephen Bogart, son of Hollywood legends Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, in 2008 about a deal to licence Gene Kelly trading cards with his MODA firm.
Bogart, who is no longer president of the company, is said to have put forward an agreement which gave Patricia approval on the images and text used on the Donruss range of cards.
Patricia later discovered that chiefs at Donruss had allegedly been making cards and other merchandise without her permission, including one card that contained a "swatch of material... cut from an authentic item personally worn by Gene Kelly".
In the legal papers, obtained by Reuters, Patricia claims the item was "highly offensive and never would have been approved by the Gene Kelly Trust."
Patricia goes on to allege that when she complained about the items, Donruss bosses told her they had signed a deal that allowed them to make the cards without her approval, and she's adamant the document must be a forgery.
Bosses at MODA and Donruss, which has since been sold and renamed Panini America, have been named as defendants in the lawsuit, which includes accusations of breach of contract, fraud and deceit and unjust enrichment, amongst others.