Opera singer sues ex over screenplay

An opera singer is suing her former partner over the screenplay for award-winning film Florence Foster Jenkins. Soprano Julia Kogan claims that she should receive co-writing credit for the film as she contributed dialogue and ideas to the screenplay, authored by Nicholas Martin.

Kogan and Martin lived together from 2012-14, during which time the contended script was written. Martin claims sole authorship, with his solicitor stating that “There is no contemporaneous documentary evidence whatsoever” to indicate her involvement.

Meanwhile Kogan’s lawyer said that she brought an “insider’s view of how opera singers perform and rehearse,” and also added “some minor characters and minor dramatic events”. Kogan is asking for a share of Martin’s earnings from the film as well as a co-credit on the screenplay.

Florence Foster Jenkins tells the true story of a wealthy American woman who used her money to create an opera career – despite the fact she cannot sing. The film starred Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant and Simon Helberg, and took more than USD44m (€37.2m) at the box office. Streep was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance and won a Critics’ Choice Award for Best Actress in a Comedy.

The judge is currently reviewing the evidence and will give his ruling at a later date.

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