Feb. 7 (UPI) -- Woody Allen has filed a lawsuit against Amazon Studios for breach of contract after the studio refused to release his most recent film and terminated a four-picture production and distribution deal without cause.
Allen's lawsuit, filed in federal court in the Southern District of New York Thursday, states Amazon refused to release his film A Rainy Day in New York despite it being complete for six months and terminated his contract in June due to allegations dating back to the 1990s that he sexually abused his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow.
"Amazon has tried to excuse its action by referencing a 25-year-old, baseless allegation against Mr. Allen, but that allegation was already well known to Amazon (and the public) before Amazon entered into four separate deals with Mr. Allen -- and, in any event it does not provide a basis for Amazon to terminate the contract," the suit states.
Farrow's allegations, which Allen has denied, have resurfaced since the beginning of the #MeToo movement.
The suit states that Amazon executives Jason Ropell and Matt Newman met with Allen in December 2017 "and discussed the negative publicity and reputation harm Amazon Studios had received because of allegations" made against former president of Amazon Studios Roy Price and connections to producer Harvey Weinstein as a result of the #MeToo movement.
Allen and Amazon agreed to move the release of A Rainy Day in New York back from 2018 to 2019, but Amazon Studios' general counsel, Ajay Patel, sent a notice in June 2018 ending their four-film agreement and saying Amazon had no intention to distribute any of Allen's films.
The suit states that Amazon didn't provide any "legal or factual basis" for terminating their deal and didn't clarify in the decision such as "renewed allegations," "controversial comments" and "top talent."
"I don't know whether you'd call this hubris or just shortsightedness on Amazon's part-but this is clearly not an acceptable way to behave in the business world," said Allen's attorney John Quinn.
Allen's suit seeks $68 million in minimum guarantee payments related to the four films, in addition to damages and attorneys fees.