Tyler Perry is in a Texas courtroom this week facing allegations of copyright infringement by a woman who claims material from his 2005 film “Diary of a Mad Black Woman” was stolen from her 1991 play, “Fantasy of a Black Woman.”
Donna West is suing the actor-screenwriter in U.S. District Court and is seeking all profits made from the film, reports the Associated Press.
“I can’t put my play on because the stories are basically the same and nobody wants to see that again,” she said.
Jurors on Tuesday watched Perry’s film and listened to a reading of the script from West’s play. West testified that her script was based primarily on her own experiences. With her in the starring role, the play was performed in July 1991 at the Junior Black Academy of Arts and Letters at the Dallas Convention Center.
“The play was open to the public. Anyone could have attended,” West said.
In her opening remarks to the jury, Perry’s attorney, Veronica Lewis, said her client is an “immensely talented” individual “who has no need whatsoever” to use the materials of others.
U.S. District Judge Leonard Davis told jurors he anticipates the case will be completed by next Tuesday.