Nollywood actress, Stephanie Okereke, has maintained that she is innocent as she faces a N100m lawsuit. Author, Daniella Madudu is suing Stephanie for alleged copyright infringement of her book titled: “Behind Her Veil.”
Madudu had claimed that major parts of her book were lifted and used without any form of acknowledgement to her in Stephanie Okereke’s movie – “Dry”
She said that she gave the manuscripts of the book to one of her friends, Joy Ndidi, who later became Stephanie’s Personal Assistant, to edit; only for her to see major excerpts of her book revealed in Stephanie Okereke Linus’ movie, Dry.
But the actress insists that her movie had been registered with the National Copyright Commission since 2012, while the book was not officially published until 2014.
The actress also stated that the said book has never been registered with the NCC till date.
She added that she shot her movie, ‘DRY ‘ in a bid to lend her voice
to the ‘child not bride’ campaign.
Stephanie also confirmed that she received a letter from one Rafiu Bello acting on behalf of Daniella Madudu on May 19, accusing her of appropriation of an ‘original literary work’ that was allegedly stolen from her by Joy Ndidi.
She said that the letter demanded that she credits Madudu with ownership of her work, pay the sum of N60,000,000 and royalties, or face a ‘campaign of calumny.’
Stephanie accused Daniella and her team of premeditated defamation adding that their allegations of copyright infringement was entirely baseless.
The actress in her attempt to clear her name further stated, “I registered the script for my movie ‘DRY’ with The United States Copyright Office on November 28, 2011. That I registered the script for my movie ‘DRY’ with The Nigerian Copyright Commission on July 27, 2012.
“That my movie ‘DRY’ was shot in the months of August and September, 2012 in Nigeria. The so called ‘original literary work’ of the Daniella Madudu, I was supposed to have appropriated in my movie, has never been registered at The Nigerian Copyright Commission even as we speak.
“That the unofficial trailer for ‘DRY’ was released to lend my voice in support of the ‘Child Not Bride’ campaign. That Ms. Joy Ndidi’s first ever contact with me was in 2013 (DRY was already a finished project at this time) and it was not until June 2013 that she was officially engaged to provide content and ad-placement for my personal blog, ‘The Stephanie Daily’ for all of six (6) months and this she did from the comfort of her home.”