*The writer of the hit book and now film, “The Help,” was taken to court recently by her brother’s former African American maid.
Kathryn Stockett was accused of using the likeness of Ablene Cooper without her permission in a book about relationships between White families and their Black maids in the segregated South of the 1960s.
But the judge dismissed the lawsuit Tuesday on the bases that a one-year statute of limitations elapsed between the time Stockett gave Cooper a copy of the book and when the lawsuit was filed against her.
Cooper was caught leaving the courthouse, extremely upset.
“She’s a liar. She did it. She knows she did it,” Cooper screamed.
She also claimed that the there were too many similarities between the book and the movie not to go unnoticed. The complaint sought $75,000 in damages.
Stockett’s defense team argued in court papers that Cooper and the character are not that similar.
‘The Help’ does not use Mrs. Ablene Cooper’s name. It uses the name Aibileen Clark. It does not paint a picture of Mrs. Ablene Cooper, middle-aged in 2011. It paints the picture of Aibileen Clark, middle-aged in 1962,” the lawyers said in court filings.
The lawsuit says Stockett’s refusal to acknowledge that she based the character on Cooper’s likeness “is so outrageous in character, and so extreme as to go beyond all bounds of human decency, and is utterly intolerable in a civilized community.”
The suit also says that during a 2009 interview with The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Stockett said:
“When I was writing this book I never thought anyone else would read it, so I didn’t get real creative with the names. I just used people I knew. Some of them aren’t talking to me right now, but I feel like they’ll come around.”
“The Help” was indeed a blockbuster and ranked No. 2 nationwide it’s opening weekend and made $26 million.
Read more at Yahoo News.