Perry Cleared In Plagiarism Case
Filmmaker Tyler Perry has been cleared of accusations he stole the idea for his movie DIARY OF A MAD BLACK WOMAN from a Texan playwright.
Donna West's case against the actor/screenwriter was dismissed after jurors in a Texas court on Tuesday (09Dec08) found she did not present enough evidence to support her claim of copyright infringement.
West launched legal action against Perry in 2007, insisting he lifted material from her play, Fantasy of a Black Woman, to use in his 2005 blockbuster.
The play was performed three times in 1991 in Dallas, and West contended Perry could have gained access to the script in 1998 when he presented his plays at the Dallas Black Academy of Arts and Letters.
She asked the courts to award her damages as well as the entire profits from the movie, believed to be around $50 million (GBP34 million).
But the lawsuit was dismissed following a trial at a court in Marshall, Texas.
And Perry - who testified during the proceedings - is delighted by the verdict, according to his attorney, Veronica Lewis.
She says, "We are very pleased that the jurors understood that Tyler Perry is an incredibly talented person who has no need to copy the work of others."