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A messy affair for Halle Berry

A lawsuit brought by Halle Berry is now wading into the topic of celebrities being gifted luxury items

Surely, most people would love to get their hands on designer clothing, expensive electronics and other goods for no cost, but maybe such things are not free after all.

Halle Berry was last seen in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Pic/Getty Images
Halle Berry was last seen in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Pic/Getty Images 

Halle Berry is suing an Italian company called Toywatch S.p.A. and its brand agents. Berry contends that the defendants have violated her publicity and privacy rights, trademark and slogan by using her name and image to advertise and sell watches.

The actress states in her complaint she wouldn't "voluntarily appear in print or other media for a company or product unless she carefully selects and believes in the company and product" and unless she is compensated appropriately.

While it's too early in the case to zero in on Toywatch's core arguments, one subject has come up in the midst of a discovery process that has seen Berry's managers, publicists, stylists and personal assistants giving depositions. It concerns the so-called barter arrangements.

Berry's lawyers admit that Berry often receives clothing and accessories from various designers but says they are no more than gifts. "In fact, [Berry] often does not wear them and instead donates them to charity," they wrote in a statement to a California federal judge on Wednesday.

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