Everyone’s favorite ass-kicking Marvel actress Scarlett Johansson tried very hard to stop the French novel The First Thing You See from being published in 2013, and now she can’t be too pleased that it’s hitting shelves in England on Sept. 10. Written by Grégoire Delacourt, the book tells the story of a young male mechanic named Arthur Dreyfuss, whose life is suddenly turned upside down when a woman who looks a lot like Scarlett Johansson shows up at his door one night, claiming to be Scarlett Johansson. Of course, she’s not actually the famous actress, and the mechanic isn’t all he’s cracked up to be, either, and that’s when sexy hilarity and/or drama ensues. Harmless fun, right?
Not really, at least according to the real ScarJo. The star’s lawyers tried desperately to stop the publication of this novel, because of the sordid romantic details it included about the fictional Johansson. Delacourt called the use of Johansson’s name a “declaration of love,” despite claiming that the novel wasn’t about her, but a woman who simply looks exactly like her and pretends to be her. The author also said at the time of publication that he thought she might even send him flowers for his literary tribute, but instead he was sued over “fraudulent and illicit use of her name, fame and image.” But while those sordid romantic details were removed by the judge’s orders, Delacourt was still allowed to use her name, and the bestselling novel could even one day become a film.
So, what does this mean for other celebrities who would prefer that random authors not use their names in so-called declarations of love? Anchors Tom Storey and Briana Lane weigh in on today’s episode of The Desk.