Showing posts with label court cases. Show all posts
Showing posts with label court cases. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Chaplin wins plagiarism suit, November 1939

Given all the headlines about plagiarism today, I thought this was a timely story. In 1939, Chaplin won a federal suit brought against him by attorney Michael Kustoff, who claimed Chaplin had lifted the plot of Modern Times from his autobiography, Against Gray Walls.

Chaplin at the federal building following his victory in court.

Kustoff served as his own attorney and questioned Chaplin on the witness stand. Read the full story, plus some of the testimony, here:


Los Angeles Times, November 19, 1939

Friday, September 21, 2012

Mann Act trial, 1944

In February 1944, a federal case was brought against Charlie for violation of the Mann Act, a law which prohibited the transfer of a woman across state lines for sexual intentions (Chaplin had purchased round-trip train tickets from Los Angeles to New York for Joan Barry & her mother). The charges were ridiculous. As Chaplin's lawyer pointed out, Joan would have willingly had sex with Charlie at any time without having to schlep her to New York to do it. Following a humiliating trial, he was eventually cleared of the charges, but his public image in America was severely damaged.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Chaplin Vs. Amador

Charlie Chaplin
This photograph was used as evidence in Chaplin’s lawsuit against imitator Charles Amador in 1925.  Charlie accused Amador, who called himself “Charlie Aplin”, of stealing his material including costume and props. Chaplin won the case. "Charlie" was unique and he was Chaplin's property.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

On the witness stand during the paternity trial, 1945

Charlie denied from the witness stand that he was the father of Joan Barry's child and called her allegations "filthy lies".