The blockbuster director offers his take as a Texas man sues a woman for the price of her ticket
Hollywood director James Gunn has weighed in on a bizarre lawsuit coming out of a Texan courtroom that involves his current film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
Last Thursday, a petition was filed in the small claims court Travis County in south central Texas. Brandon Vezmar, 37, is asking the courts to force a woman he brought on a date to see the Marvel blockbuster to pay back the price of her admission.
James Gunn, whose film has made nearly $640m at the global box office since its release on May 5th, took to Twitter to offer his take on the story, with a trademark quip:
Why stop at suing? She deserves jail time! https://t.co/c41MWGz74M— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) May 16, 2017
The 35-year-old woman, unidentified by local media, stands accused by Vezmar of being a terrible date. The pair reportedly met online and decided to head to the cinema for their first encounter.
“It was kind of a first date from hell,” Vezmar said. After 15 minutes of the film, Vezmar said his date took her smartphone out and started texting.
“This is like one of my biggest pet peeves,” Vezmar, who runs two communications consultancies, added.
In the legal papers, Vezmar claims his date “activated her phone at least 10-20 times in 15 minutes to read and send text messages.” When his requests for her to put her phone away fell on deaf ears, Vezmar suggested she go out into the lobby to text, which she did – never to return.
Reacting to the lawsuit, the woman told the Statesman: “Oh my god, this is crazy.”
She admitted to texting during the comic-book film, but refuted the number of times she had been using her phone.
“I had my phone low and I wasn’t bothering anybody,” she said, saying she was offering support to a friend who was experiencing relationship problems at the time. “It wasn’t like constant texting.”
Vezmar contacted the woman in the days following their May 6th date to ask her to refund him the price of her admission ticket, with the woman refusing to pay because “he took me out on a date.”
According to his petition, her texting was a “direct violation” of the cinema’s policy and the disruption “adversely” affected not only his enjoyment of the film, but also that of others in the audience.
“While damages sought are modest, the principle is important as defendant’s behaviour is a threat to civilised society,” Vezmar’s petition said.
The woman said she intends to file a protective order against Vezmar, saying he also contacted her younger sister in an attempt to get his money back for the cost of the cinema ticket.
“I’m not a bad woman,” she said, “I just went on a date.”