“Jane Doe” is suing the database for $1 million, claiming that with her age public, she’ll get fewer roles
The anonymous actress who is suing the internet database IMDB for revealing her age suffered a legal setback Friday.
U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman granted an order to dismiss the plaintiff's case on Friday, pursuant to a rule that requires a complaint to name all parties.
Pechman gave the woman 14 days as of Friday to include her real name in the complaint.
"[W]hile Plaintiff may face public ridicule and embarrassment if she elects to go forward under her real name, the injury she fears is not severe enough to justify permitting her to proceed anonymously," Pechman noted in her order.
Also named in the suit was IMDB's owner, Amazon.com.
Pechman, of U.S. Western District Court of Washington, stayed another motion to dismiss. The second motion seeks dismissal pursuant to a rule that says allegations "must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level." That motion is stayed, pending the actress filing her amended complaint.
"Because neither party's conduct was unreasonable, the court denies an award of fees or costs to either party," the order reads. "The court gives Plaintiff 14 days from the entry of this order to amend her complaint by adding her real name."
Pechman added, "In the present case, while Plaintiff may face public ridicule and embarrassment if she elects to go forward under her real name, the injury she fears is not severe enough to justify permitting her to proceed anonymously."
The plaintiff, listed as "Jane Doe" in her original complaint, claimed that IMDB had listed her real age in her profile after she subscribed to the pay service IMDbPro in 2008, and that as a result her ability to obtain roles in the future has been jeopardized.
"In the entertainment industry, youth is king,” the original complaint reads. “If one is perceived to be ‘over-the-hill,’ i.e. approaching 40, it is nearly impossible for an up-and-coming actress, such as the plaintiff, to get work.”
The plaintiff is seeking $1 million from IMDB and its owner, Amazon.com.
In its motion to dismiss, filed in November, IMDB argued that the plaintiff was "selfish," and that her efforts to conceal her age amounted to fraud against those who might employ her.
"Truth and justice are philosophical pillars of this court," the motion to dismiss reads. "The perpetuation of fraud, even for an actor's career, is inconsistent with these principles. Plaintiff's attempt to manipulate the federal court system so she can censor IMDb.com's display of her birth date and pretend to the world that she is not 40 years old is selfish, contrary to the public interest and a frivolous abuse of this court's resources."
The case has touched off a heated debate about ageism in the entertainment industry since it was filed in October.
Attorneys for the parties in the case have not yet responded to TheWrap's requests for comment.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.
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