Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Arbitration Award for Queen of Versailles

Jacqueline Siegel, Orlando's Queen of Versailles, is free to pursue dreams of reality television after an arbitrator recently ruled against a filmmaker who claimed the Siegels signed away rights to their life story. The independent documentary film entitled "The Queen of Versailles" was a hit of the film festival circuit, including a Directing Award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. However, Siegel's victory comes with a bill for $750,000 in legal fees incurred by the filmmaker and her husband, in connection with a separate lawsuit. David Siegel's time-share company, Westgate Resorts, sued the couple for defamation and lost. An arbitrator in that case said he did not find any of the content in the movie to be false. The film was hailed as one of the best documentaries of the Great Recession and detailed the Siegels' quest to build the biggest home in America. Court documents claimed the couples' life-story rights were valued at $50 million. Reportedly, the victory might lead to a reality television show. David Siegel claims the couple is in negotiations with several networks. The filmmaker had argued the couple signed away rights to their life story as part of the filming release. The arbitrator apparently ruled differently, saying the life story releases were invalid and unenforceable. Attorneys for the filmmakers maintain their victory in the defamation suit was a triumph for First Amendment rights. See full story here-- http://bit.ly/PMdcbc