A Prescription for Vigorous Debate: Katherine Heigl vs. Duane Reade

ShutterstockKatherineHeiglOver at Yahoo Celebrity, there’s an exclamation point in the headline. On Twitter, folks like Piers Morgan are leading the incredulous charge.

Never mind that most of the coverage seems to not understand that in these sorts of legal matters, the plaintiff starts with a figure that is intentionally outrageous and eventually, usually settles from there. This particular Google News trail stems from Grey’s Anatomy star Katherine Heigl‘s Wednesday NYC court filing against pharmacy chain Duane Reade:

The actress is said to be livid that photographs of her leaving the New York store last month carrying several shopping bags were used by the company, which tweeted the snap along with the caption: ‘Love a quick #DuaneReade run? Even @KatieHeigl can’t resist shopping #NYC’s favorite drugstore.’

The complaint said she was photographed in March near a Duane Reade store in New York while filming a new television series.

We’re actually going to side with Heigl on this one. Remember the brouhaha over Amy Adams being used in a similar way by Valentino when she attended a private memorial for Philip Seymour Hoffman? A celebrity’s brand is their most valuable asset; Heigl and co. should feel free to move to protect that asset anytime it is co-opted without permission.

Update (2:15 p.m.):
An unnamed source has told Us Weekly that the actress tried to initially resolve this matter more discreetly:

“Her attorneys reached out to Duane Reade after [the tweet] was posted,” the insider tells Us. “They called and asked for it to be taken down, and Duane Reade ignored them. She tried repeatedly to have this settled without a lawsuit.”

[Photo of Heigl at 2011 New Year’s Eve premiere: DFree/Shutterstock.com]

Additionally on Mediabistro:
Katherine Heigl Goes Litigious Over Duane Reade Twitpic

@hollywoodspin rhorgan@gmail.com Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.