Eva Green has said that “justice prevailed” after winning her High Court battle with a production company over the collapse of an abandoned sci-fi film.
The Casino Royale star was due to play the lead role in dystopian thriller A Patriot, but the production collapsed in October 2019.
After the film was abandoned, Green sued production company White Lantern Film, claiming she is still entitled to her $1m (£810,000) fee.
White Lantern Film and lender SMC Speciality Finance brought a counterclaim against the actor, in which they claimed that Green undermined the independent film’s production and renounced the contract.
On Friday (28 April) morning, the judge ruled in Green’s favour. He said that Green was entitled to the fee, and dismissed the counter-claim, saying: “In particular, I find that Ms Green did not renounce her obligations under the artist agreement; nor did she commit any repudiatory breaches of it.”
In a statement released following the ruling, Green said: “My professional reputation has been upheld.
“In this legal action I was forced to stand up to a small group of men, funded by deep financial resources, who tried to use me as a scapegoat to cover up their own mistakes,” she said. “I am proud that I stood up against their bully-boy tactics.
“They made false allegations about me in public court documents which the judge has now shown are totally incorrect.”
Green also criticised media coverage of the trial in London earlier this year, saying: “A few people in the press were only too delighted to re-print these lies without proper reporting. There are few things the media enjoys more than tearing a woman to pieces.
“It felt like being set upon by hounds. I found myself misrepresented, quoted out of context and my desire to make the best possible film was made to look like female hysteria. It was cruel and it was untrue... I stood my ground, and this time, justice prevailed.”
During the trial, the court heard that Green described potential crew members as “s***ty peasants”, the production as a “B-s***ty-movie” and executive producer Jake Seal as “pure vomit”.
Green, who gave oral evidence at the High Court in London over two days in January, said it was “humiliating” to have her messages used in court. During two days of cross examination, she told the judge that she just had a “very direct way of saying things”.
Her lawyer Edmund Cullen KC told the court that the actor had been subjected to a “character assassination”, adding it was “based on some of the cheapest and nastiest sorts of stereotypes around”.
Continuing her statement, Green said: “As a result of this case, the cat’s well and truly out of the bag that I am mildly terrified of public speaking, that I don’t understand technical financial structures, that I am fragile in the face of aggression, that I’m passionate about my work and that my heart breaks when people are unkind.
“I’m also the kind of person who escapes through the back door at parties and is happiest at home alone with my dogs. But, most importantly, I want to add that I’m also at my happiest when I’m making the films that I love and that I believe in, working side-by-side with brilliant crews in the UK and overseas.
“Therefore, the deliberate misreporting by some of the press has amplified the pain to a huge degree and has been more painful than I can say.”
She concluded her speech: “I fought tooth and nail to defend the beautiful film that I loved and had signed on for... I stood my ground, and this time, justice prevailed.”
“I wish I could say that this ordeal has made me stronger, better, wiser. But to have my personal life dragged through the press and the court was more painful and damaging than I can say.”
Additional reporting by Press Association.