Milton H. Greene Archives, Inc. v. Marilyn Monroe LLC, et al., No. 08-56471 (9th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Marilyn Monroe LLC and its licensee sued Milton Green in the federal district court, claiming ownership of Marilyn Monroe's right of publicity and alleging that Milton Greene was violating Marilyn Monroe LLC's rights by using Monroe's image and likeness for unauthorized commercial purposes, including the advertising and sale of photographs of Monroe. At issue in this case was whether appellants inherited a right of publicity, which was created and deemed posthumous by the states of California and Indiana decades after her death, through a residual clause in her Last Will and Testament. The court concluded that because Monroe's executors consistently represented during the probate proceedings and elsewhere that she was domiciled in New York at her death to avoid payment of California estate taxes, among other things, appellants were judicially estopped from asserting California's posthumous right of publicity.