Model Sues Over Mad Men's Use of 50-Year-Old Photo

Gita Hall May's image appears in title sequence
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 4, 2013 10:02 AM CST

(Newser) – Gita Hall May, a model and actress in the 1950s and 1960s, says Mad Men used her image in its title sequence without her permission, and now she's suing Lionsgate. May, who was known as just Gita Hall when the photograph was taken by Richard Avedon more than 50 years ago, is now 79. She says she only consented to the photo being used in a Revlon ad, and accuses the show of secretly cropping her image from the ad and using it "for commercial purposes," according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Why did she wait so long to sue? She doesn't have cable, so she only just discovered the use of her face when Mad Men came out on video last year. The lawsuit calls May's image the centerpiece of the title sequence, stating that it "perfectly personifies the period" by representing the "iconic female beauty of the age." She wants to be compensated for the "revenues that her image contributed to their profit," which stands at an estimated $1 billion. The Reporter notes that the show nabbed the 2008 Emmy for outstanding main title design. (Read more Gita Hall May stories.)

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