| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Harvey Keitel, the Oscar-nominated
actor whose movies include "Taxi Driver" and "Pulp Fiction," has
lost a lawsuit he brought over a starring role he did not get in
A New York state judge in Manhattan this week dismissed
Keitel's lawsuit accusing E*Trade Financial Corp of
reneging on a January 2014 contract for the online brokerage to
feature him in three commercials for $1.5 million.
Keitel, 77, said E*Trade agreed to have him do the
commercials, after the actor Christopher Walken had declined to
participate, only to decide unexpectedly to move "in a different
direction" and instead offer only a $150,000 termination fee.
Justice Charles Ramos of state supreme court, however, said
a written "term sheet" for hiring Keitel merely lay the
groundwork for a contract, and that there was no "meeting of the
minds" about what the contract should say.
He said it did not matter that employees of E*Trade's ad
agency and a marketing firm it hired were exchanging emails,
which Keitel did not see at the time, calling the offer firm.
Ramos also noted that Keitel's agent was still negotiating,
including in an email in which she said Keitel "really wants a
director who knows his work. Maybe someone like Ridley Scott,
etc," on the day before E*Trade changed course.
Ramos' decision was dated Monday and filed with the court
clerk the following evening. E*Trade's headquarters are in
Victor Bushell, a lawyer for Keitel, did not immediately
respond on Thursday to requests for comment.
Marc Greenwald, a lawyer for E*Trade, said: "E*Trade is
pleased that the court recognized that its advertising agent's
expression of interest wasn't an enforceable agreement, and that
the court properly dismissed this case with prejudice."
The case is Keitel v. E*Trade Financial Corp, New York State
Supreme Court, New York County, No. 652220/2015.