1. How the contract was allegedly breached, 2. What defenses may be available to the defendant, and 3. What remedy (or remedies) may be available to the Plaintiff. Charlize Theron has settled the $20 million breach of contract lawsuit against her, according to papers filed in Manhattan Federal Court Monday. The suit was filed last year, when Swiss watchmaker Raymond Weil claimed that Theron had worn a Christian Dior watch during a press event in 2006, despite being paid “substantial funds” to exclusively wear Raymond Weil timepieces during the time in question.
The contract was allegedly breached during a press event in 2006 when Theron was wearing a Christian Dior watch even though the contract required her to exclusively wear Reimond Weil watches. The contract between Theron and Reimond Weil had specifically required Theron to wear Reimond Weil during public appearances. The wearing of the watch of a competitor is a material breach of contract. This is called a material breach because it will enable Reimond Weil to collect damages because of the breach. Theron can claim the defense of a unilateral mistake.
The defense can claim that Theron did not know that Reimond Weil were to be worn at all occasions. Another defense that Theron can claim is that the contract was entered into by mistake without her knowledge. These defenses are weak and even if they stand, it would make the contract void between Theron and Reimond Weil and Theron would have to return the “substantial funds” that were paid out back to Reimond Weil. Reimond Weil cannot force a specific performance of Theron because the press event is already done and over with.
The only thing that is available to the Plaintiff to seek would be to retrieve damages determined by the court. Recission is a remedy whereby a contract is canceled and the parties are returned to the positions they occupied before the contract was made. But this may be affected through the mutual consent of the parties, by the parties’ conduct, or by court decree. The Plaintiff may seek rescission of the contract and require Theron to repay the substantial funds paid to her. However, the court does not normally grant rescission in this types of cases.