The Help Lawsuit Tossed
Judge says statute of limitations has expired for woman who says novel and movie were based on her life.
While many are raving about the movie version of Kathyrn Stockett's novel "The Help," one woman who says she's portrayed in the book is not too pleased.
Ablene Cooper filed a lawsuit against Stockett claiming a character in the novel has similar characteristics as herself.
A judge threw out the case Tuesday and Cooper exploded with emotion as she left the courtroom.
"I hope she got what she wanted, put that on there, I hope she got what she wanted, she's a liar," Cooper said.
Cooper is a maid for Stockett's brother and in her lawsuit Cooper accuses Stockett of basing Aibileen Clark one of the characters in "The Help", on Cooper herself.
"She did it, she knows she did it and they know she did it!" Cooper said.
Edward Sanders, Cooper's attorney, argued that Cooper received a copy of "The Help" from Stockett in January 2009.
Cooper didn't file her lawsuit until February of 2011.
Judge Tomie Green said the statute of limitations had run out for Cooper to file her suit, so on Tuesday she threw out the case.
"Clearly Ablene was lead to believe there was nothing harming about her in this book and she's worked for the Stocketts for a long time," Sanders said.
In "The Help," the character Aibileen is described as an African-American maid from Jackson, Mississippi who uses broken English.
Aibleen's skin is compared to the color of a cockroach.
"She just thought Kathryn Stockett was a trustworthy person she didn't think she would write these things and clearly misrepresent to Ablene what was in this book and that's very disturbing," Sanders said.
"The book is about Aibileen Clark, don't you think that's a coincidence, do you know anybody else named Aibileen, do you know anybody else named Aibileen, do you know anybody else named Aibileen," said Antonio Cooper, Ablene Cooper's son.
"There's a line in the movie 'The Help', 'You're an ungodly woman,' and maybe Mrs. Stockett should think about that," Sanders said.
Cooper's legal team says they may decide to appeal Tuesday's ruling.
Kathyrn Stockett's attorney, Fred Banks, said he's pleased that Judge Green ruled in their favor and he believes the law supported Judge Green's ruling.