Weil’s $20M Suit Against Theron to Proceed

Swiss watchmaker Raymond Weil’s $20 million lawsuit against Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron, 33, will go to trial by the end of October, says reports by the New York Daily News and United Press International.

Weil sued Theron in early 2007 for breach of contract, as reported by JCK, for allegedly reneging on her contract as brand ambassador for Raymond Weil.

Theron was promoted as the “new face” of Raymond Weil in its global marketing between October 2005 and December 2006 in an exclusive endorsement deal that required she wear only Raymond Weil watches for its duration. However, the Geneva-based watchmaker’s lawsuit claims  Theron—who also had an endorsement deal with Dior perfume—was photographed wearing a Dior watch at a March 2006 news conference at an Austin, Tex., film festival.

According to published accounts, Raymond Weil spent some $20 million on the Theron global campaign, which had been announced with some fanfare by Olivier Bernheim, Raymond Weil SA company president and chief executive officer, at the 2005 international BaselWorld watch fair in Switzerland. At that time, he called her the “the perfect ambassador for our timepieces.”

Theron’s attorneys in February this year sought to have the watchmaker’s lawsuit dismissed, but a judge last week ruled that it must go to trial in New York federal court by the end of October.

Theron won the 2004 Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Monster (2003).