Gawker settles 'McSteamy' lawsuit
Gawker Media has agreed to pay actors Eric Dane and wife Rebecca Gayheart an undisclosed sum and to remove the video they shot with friend Kari Ann Peniche in exchange for the couple dropping their $1 million lawsuit, The Hollywood Reporter says. The couple had sued for copyright infringement after the video leaked to Gawker’s Defamer blog and Fleshbot. Gawker argued “fair use,” and a U.S. District Judge ruled in December that the spouses could not recover statutory damages of up to $150,000 per infringement because they registered the tape with the Copyright Office days after it was posted online. The settlement was reached through private mediation. “Although we are confident that our use of the video on Gawker was protected fair use, because the posts already had been available to our readers for nearly a year, and because we already had won an important decision from the court striking large parts of the plaintiffs’ damages claims, we agreed to remove the posts as part of a global settlement to avoid the burden of further litigation,” Gawker COO Gaby Darbyshire said in a statement. Reps for Dane and Gayheart could not immediately be reached for comment.