Monday, May 29, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Actor Demands $50 Million for Ticket Snafu

LOS ANGELES (CN) - An actor demands $50 million from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, claiming Academy security guards interrogated him and his wife for six hours about how they got onto the red carpet without tickets, though his publicist had assured him he could pick the tickets up at will-call.

Michael Avila, who told reporters he was set to appear in the movies "Battle: Los Angeles" and "Straw Dogs," says he couldn't get ahold of his tickets ahead of time, but his unnamed publicist told him an Academy staffer named "Kim" was working on it.

Avila says he didn't have his tickets on the day of the event, so he asked an Academy usher to contact Kim by radio and have her meet him at the gate.

When Avila and his wife got to the Kodak Theater, Avila says another usher let him through the outside gates and onto the red carpet. Avila says the usher told him Kim was working inside the gates.

But inside the theater gates, Avila says, Academy employees turned on him and his wife, launching the interrogation and ignoring Avila's explanation about the ticket mix-up.

Academy security guards accused the couple of trespassing and refused to let them go back to their hotel for 6 hours, according to the Superior Court complaint.

At 10 p.m., Avila says, Los Angeles police took him and his wife to a police station, but declined to press charges and released them.

Avila complaint that Robert Downey Jr. was able to get into the building, though he also didn't have his ticket with him.

Avila demands $50 million for emotional distress.

Timothy Hall is representing him.

Read the Top 8

Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.