Picture it. Las Vegas, 2018. Tara Reid, halter top askew and her little dog peeking mournfully out of her shoulder bag, is sort of leaning to one side at the craps table. And over yonder in the distance, she spots something. It’s HER. “Ishat me?” she angrily scream. It is her. She’s emblazoned on the side of a giant Sharknado slot machine! And looking fresher than she’s looked in, well, since walking into the audition for The Big Lebowski in 1997? “I dint ok that! I’ll shue those bassards!” Tara screams. And promptly falls under the craps table. (Don’t worry, the little dog managed to leap to safety.)
It’s true. Tara’s suing the Sharknado franchise producers (Asylum Entertainment and SYFY Media Productions) for unlawfully using her image. And she’s suing for $100 million.
The Blast got ahold of the court documents which were filed on Dec. 6. Tara’s legal team is claiming that part of her Sharknado 5 (dear lord) contract (it must look like it came off a dot matrix printer) states that her Sharknado character’s likeness can’t be used on certain things, like booze, tampons, and slot machines. Well, it appears that it happened anyway and the Sharknado people are going to wish THEY’D been eaten by tornado-propelled sharks after Tara gets through with them.
Reid, 43, claims that in her November 2016 “Performer Engagement Agreement” for Sharknado 5, a clause states that “in no event shall Performer’s likeness be used for any merchandising in association with alcohol, tobacco, gambling, hygiene, or sexual products without Performer’s prior written approval.” The suit alleges that the plaintiffs “never approved the use of Tara Reid’s likeness on the Sharknado slot machines, nor was such approval ever requested by any of the defendants.”
And how exactly did Tara come up with $100 million as her expected compensation for the Sharknado empire’s transgressions against her?
As to why she’s suing for $100 million, the documents explain: “As such, the actions of the Defendants were malicious and oppressive and justify an award of punitive and exemplary damages in an amount sufficiently large to set a public example of deterrence, and in an amount no less than $100,000,000.00.”
Tara is officially suing for “false endorsement and misappropriation of celebrity likeness,” as well as “common law wrongful appropriation of likeness and breach of written contract.” This is what the slot machine looks like, by the way:
Tara also wants “preliminary and permanent injunctive relief” (translation – they have to immediately stop putting her face on slot machines) and she wants a jury trial. How do I get on that jury? That shit’s going to be more entertaining than the Haunting of Hill House.
Tara and her lawyers seem to have an actual case, and I never thought I’d type those words, but the problem is that the producers of the SHARKNADO franchise probably don’t have $100 million dollars. These are people who are probably trying to hide the 2007 Toyota Tercel that they all carpool to the Syfy offices in from the repo man.