Nollywood actress, Stephanie Okereke, has been slammed a N100m lawsuit by an author – Daniella Madudu – for alleged copyright infringement of her book titled: “Behind Her Veil.”
Madudu claims that major parts of her book were lifted and used without any form of acknowledgement to her in Stephanie Okereke’s movie – “Dry”
According to the author, she gave the manuscripts of the book to one of her friends, Joy Ndidi, who later became Stephanie’s Personal Assistant, to edit; only for her to see major excerpts of her book revealed in Stephanie Okereke Linus’ movie, Dry.
But the actress in a statement maintained that her movie had been registered with the National Copyright Commission since 2012, while the book was officially published in 2014.
The actress also stated that the said book has never been registered with the NCC till date.
She further said that her movie ‘DRY ‘was shot in a bid to lend her voice
to the child not bride campaign.
However, the actress admitted receiving a letter from one Rafiu Bello acting on behalf of Daniella Madudu on May 19, accusing her of appropriation of an ‘original literary work’ that was allegedly stolen from her by Joy Ndidi.
Okereke Linus said that among many other things, the letter demanded that she credits Madudu with ownership of her work, pay the sum of N60,000,000 and royalties, or face a ‘campaign of calumny.’
The statement reads: “that these persons have since gone ahead with their premeditated plan to defame me upon allegations they know to be baseless, spurious and glaringly untrue is no longer news as the media is presently awash with the ‘fruit of their labour’ and ordinarily I would not have dignified it with a response but for the sake of posterity and lest my silence be termed an admission of any wrongdoing whatsoever, I will simply proceed to state the facts here, viz:
“I registered the script for my movie ‘DRY’ with The United States Copyright Office on November 28, 2011.
“That I registered the script for my movie ‘DRY’ with The Nigerian Copyright Commission on July 27, 2012.
“That my movie ‘DRY’ was shot in the months of August and September, 2012 in Nigeria.’
“The so called ‘original literary work’ of the Daniella Madudu, I was supposed to have appropriated in my movie, has never been registered at The Nigerian Copyright Commission even as we speak.
“That the unofficial trailer for ‘DRY’ was released to lend my voice in support of the ‘Child Not Bride’ campaign.
“That Ms. Joy Ndidi’s first ever contact with me was in 2013 (DRY was already a finished project at this time) and it was not until June 2013 that she was officially engaged to provide content and ad-placement for my personal blog, ‘The Stephanie Daily’ for all of six (6) months and this she did from the comfort of her home.”
No date has been fixed yet for the court case.