Maureen Marder, whose life as a construction worker by day and dancer by night inspired the movie Flashdance, is suing Jennifer Lopez. Marder claims that Lopez’s “I’m Glad” video, which recreates scenes from the movie, is an unauthorized depiction of her life story.
The suit was filed yesterday in federal district court in Los Angeles against Lopez, Sony Music Entertainment, Inc. and Paramount Pictures Corp., which made Flashdance, and claims the defendants are guilty copyright infringement, violation of Marder’s right of publicity and false designation of origin.
“Flashdance owes both its story and its soul to Maureen Marder,” Marder’s attorney Robert Helfing said in a statement. “But she has received almost nothing for her contribution, accepting a small sum of cash from the producers who told her that the movie was only generally about dancing and would not feature the details of her life. In the last twenty years, she has tried to put that betrayal behind her, but she is penniless, disabled with a spinal injury, and trying to raise a teenage daughter. Now her life story is on the screen again — and other people are profiting from it — with no acknowledgment of her rights, let alone fair compensation for her contribution.”
The suit seeks a judgment against Paramount that would name Marder as a co-author and co-owner of the movie and screenplay copyrights and an accounting of Paramount’s profits.