In the lawsuit filed in federal court in Manhattan, Lee says Samuel Pinkus, the son-in-law of Lee’s long-time agent, Eugene Winick, took advantage of her failing hearing and eyesight to transfer the rights on the book, which has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide and became an Oscar-winning film.
The 87-year-old says she has no memory of agreeing to relinquish her rights or signing the agreement that cements the purported transfer.
Winick had represented Lee for more than 40 years. When he became ill in 2002, Pinkus diverted several of his father-in-law’s clients to his own company, the lawsuit said.
According to the lawsuit, in 2007 Pinkus “engaged in a scheme to dupe” Lee into assigning the novel’s copyright without any payment and had since failed to respond to licence requests.
Lee received the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her book in 2007 from President George W. Bush, a fan of Lee’s work. She has rarely shown her face in public otherwise.
May 4, 2013 // 12:13 // 11 months ago