Legal Threats by Charles Phillips, Jr. Over CineFest Documentary THE GLAMOROUS LIE Thwart Las Vegas Screening
Las Vegas CineFest Accedes to Pressure from Charles Phillips' Attorneys Which Causes Canceling of Las Vegas October 5th Screening of The Glamorous Lie Documentary Film.
October 6, 2012 (Newswire.com) - When former Oracle executive Charles Phillips, Jr., now CEO of Infor, got wind that his former girlfriend of eight-and-a-half years was going to have the West Coast Premiere of her documentary THE GLAMOROUS LIE at the Vegas CineFest in Las Vegas tonight, his legal team took aggressive action to prevent the screening scheduled for October 5, 2012 by sending "cease and desist" letters to the Festival and theater threatening legal action should they screen the film.
Wilkins, who garnered international media attention two years ago when she purchased billboards around the country proclaiming their relationship, is Executive Producer of the documentary.
Citing case law, which has protected the First Amendment rights of documentarians, attorneys for THE GLAMOROUS LIE sought to assure the Vegas CineFest their right to show the film would be preserved and supported. Despite these assurances and the fact the film made its World Premiere at the Harlem International Film Festival on September 20-Wilkins even proposed posting a bond to cover possible legal expenses incurred by the Festival-Las Vegas acceded to Phillips' pressure and cancelled the screening. On the other hand, Phillips' lawyers didn't follow up and sue the Harlem organizers and THE GLAMOROUS LIE went on to win the audience award there.
"We're very disappointed that the Festival did not defend our First Amendment rights, as well as those of filmmakers supported by case law, in showing our film," Wilkins says. "It shows that a powerful man with a gang of lawyers can suffocate the voice of a filmmaker and a human being, and that, under threat of legal assault, can count on some festivals to retreat, to abridge people's rights to prevent the potential expense of a threatened lawsuit. It reinforces the case I make in the documentary and shows what the people in my life and I are subject to years after the relationship is over."
She continued, "We applauded the courage of The Harlem International Film Festival in showing the film regardless of the threat of intimidation, and we're glad audiences there were able to see the film for themselves. We only hoped this were the case in Las Vegas."
Further explaining the legal situation, Wilkins says, "Phillips' legal threats claim that THE GLAMOROUS 'is full of lies,' yet Phillips has done nothing in the past year since he allegedly bought my footage from the director, Mark Alamares - whom I have since sued - and I have since learned that Phillips is paying Alamares' legal defense against me. Moreover, legal counsel for Phillips's counsel quotes a false claim by Alamares that THE GLAMOROUS LIE is nothing more than an extortion ploy against Phillips. I want to state for the record that I have never taken my documentary to Phillips in any way, shape or form, for any purpose. In fact, after Alamares allegedly sold my footage to Phillips, Phillips offered me a seven-figure dollar bribe [to not release the film], and that if I did not accept, he'd 'sue me at 9am [the next] morning. I balked at the bribe and threat. That was January 20, 2012. He and his legal team know they can't intimidate me so they have resorted to threatening everyone associated with me, including the film festivals and theaters who, before receiving the threatening cease and desist letters, enthusiastically accepted THE GLAMOROUS LIE as an "Official Selection" screening.
"I want to make clear, I, YaVaughnie Wilkins, CEO of 21 Yellow Tulips, own Chain of Title i.e. Copy Right, to THE GLAMOROUS LIE, not Alamares, as Phillips' legal counsel implies. Additionally, I stand by every word spoken in this documentary, or I would not have volunteered to indemnify, defend and post bonds for legal fees on behalf of the festivals and theaters threatened for screening it. This is totally and completely a ploy by Phillips to prevent the world from seeing my memoir. If THE GLAMOROUS LIE were filled with 'lies,' 'defamation,' 'disparagement,' 'extortion,' and so forth, his lawyers would have already sued me personally. He hasn't. And he won't. I am not afraid of people finding out who the 'real' YaVaughnie Wilkins is; I've put it on screen and paper for all to see. Phillips cannot say the same. The likes of Arnold Swarzenegger and Tiger Woods fooled a lot of people...until they got caught."
THE GLAMOROUS LIE documentary tells a story that would make for a fantastic fictional drama: high-placed boyfriend caught cheating; scorned girlfriend seeks very public acknowledgement. Billboards throughout the country showing a very literal picture of couple, with the message "you are my soul mate forever" posted larger than life over the streets of New York, Atlanta and Silicon Valley. But this was no fictional drama: it was, and it is, real.
The break-up of YaVaughnie Wilkins and Charles E. Phillips, Jr., onetime Oracle Corporation executive and former member of the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board, played out in newspaper and television outlets around the world, but it was always played out as a story of the wrath of a woman scorned and the height to which she had gone to call out her cheating boyfriend. The story was a media gold mine and fodder for comedians who saw only humor in one woman's heartache. But that was only part of the story.
"I agreed to executive produce The Glamorous Lie because I wanted to tell my story in my own way. Media interviews alone would not have done my story justice," Wilkins explains. "Immediately after the billboards went up, I began receiving media email inquiries. At first, it was funny. I mean, I was just a private citizen, and despite the fact Charles was a co-president of Oracle, he was extremely private so who would care, right? But, three hours after the first billboard went up in Times Square, a question was posted to Gawker: 'Hey, is that the Charles Phillips that runs Oracle?' All hell broke loose."
And while the documentary has wrapped, the story continues to unfold. Wilkins, family members, friends, business associates and even casual past acquaintances remain victims of ongoing surveillance and intimidation. Alamares absconded with the film's raw footage, which is now in the hands of Phillips and had spawned a pair of legal complaints even BEFORE Phillips' latest legal action. And while Wilkins has moved on with her life, it seems, another chapter of "The Glamorous Lie" may be yet be written. This film will remain a work-in-progress until well after its festival screenings.
About 21 Yellow Tulips
21 Yellow Tulips independently produces feature-length documentary and narrative films and publishes original literary work. 21 Yellow Tulips strives to create and encourage the production of filmed entertainment and literary projects that have important life lessons to share with open-minded audiences. We embark on each project with the purpose of presenting a different perspective than that offered by conventional wisdom.