While other stars were primping ahead of Sunday evening’s Academy Awards, Elizabeth Chambers, whose husband Armie Hammer stars in the Oscar nominated film “Call Me By Your Name,” was busy initiating litigation. Turns out, a Beverly Hills woman, hoping to gain access to Vanity Fair’s Oscar exclusive after-party, had hatched an intricate plan to impersonate Chambers and “fraudulently” snag a ticket to one of the evening’s hottest post-awards show events.
According to the suit, which Chambers filed on March 1 in Los Angeles Superior Court, just three days before the Oscars, Diana Ellis created the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. From this address, Ellis sent a message to the organizers of the Vanity Fair Oscars after-party, purporting to be Chambers – who had, along with her husband, been invited to the invitation-only party – and requesting that she be permitted to bring a guest. Still posing as Chambers, Ellis provided her own name as Chambers’ guest.
Chambers asserts that suspicion arose when Ellis wrote in a later email (from the fake email address) that "the other additional guest, Diana Ellis, will be arriving separately and that the guest invitation should be mailed to Ellis' separate home address.”
“Sensing that something was suspicious and/or inappropriate, Vanity Fair contacted the publicist for Ms. Chambers and her husband,” Chambers asserts in her suit. “Their publicist confirmed that they did not plan to bring a guest, had not authorized [Ellis] to speak or email on behalf of Ms. Chambers, and had not emailed Vanity Fair.”
So, ahead of Sunday evening’s awards, to which Chambers and Hammer wore his and her Giorgio Armani looks, the actress filed suit against Ellis, citing claims of Misappropriation of Name and Likeness in violation of California state law – for using "Ms. Chambers' identity to her [own] advantage, commercially or otherwise, without Ms. Chambers' consent and resulting in injury to Ms. Chambers” – and violation of Right to Privacy under the California Constitution. Chambers is seeking injunctive relief, which would prevent Ellis from "engaging in further violations," and monetary damages, including attorney's fees.
As for Ellis, according to photos on her Facebook page, she did not make it into the Vanity Fair party on Sunday night, but she did celebrate the Oscars at a Cadillac-sponsored event at Chateau Marmont.
* The case is Elizabeth Chambers v. Diana Roque Ellis, BC696022, Superior Court of California Los Angeles Central District.