Showtime’s ‘Billions’ has beaten a lawsuit from a Wall Street performance coach who claimed the show ripped off her book
Category : entrepreneur
- A US district judge ruled that Showtime hit “Billions” did not copy the story of hedge fund performance coach Denise Shull, who sued the network for copyright infringement of her book, The Hollywood Reporter’s Ashley Cullins reported.
- Shull claimed that a character played by Maggie Siff was based on her work, but the judge found that the two women bear few similarities.
- Shull plans to appeal the decision, Dominic Patten reported for Deadline.
- Siff previously told Business Insider her performance as character Wendy Rhoades was inspired by Tony Robbins and Ari Kiev.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The Showtime hit series “Billions,” which portrays the collision of the worlds of law and hedge funds, has concluded a chapter of its own real-life legal drama — for now.
Performance coach Denise Shull filed suit against Showtime in January on the grounds that Maggie Siff’s character Wendy Rhoades was inspired by Shull’s book, “Market Mind Games,” as reported by The Hollywood Reporter’s Ashley Cullins. In the show, Siff plays a performance coach working at a hedge fund who is caught between her boss and her husband, a US attorney.
On Friday, US District Judge George Daniels ruled in Showtime’s favor, canceling Shull’s lawsuit because the court found the show and the book “do not seem to resemble each other in the least,” Daniels wrote in his decision, which was published by THR.
But Shull plans to appeal the decision, the author’s lawyers told Deadline reporter Dominic Patten.
“We have reviewed the Court’s decision and respectfully disagree with the court’s ruling,” attorney Michael James Malory said to Deadline.
Daniels wrote that the court found no similarities between Shull and “Billions” character Wendy Rhoades, other than the fact that both women work as in-house performance coaches at hedge funds. But that alone is not enough to justify claims of copyright, according to the decision.
“An in-house psychiatrist may not be a ‘stock character,'” Daniels wrote, “but the idea of an in-house psychiatrist, even in the context of a hedge fund, is certainly not one that was borne of Shull’s own thinking.”
Siff spoke to Business Insider last year about various inspirations for her character, citing life coach Tony Robbins as well as Ari Kiev, who was the in-house psychiatrist at SAC Capital before he died in 2009.
While the court dismissed the suit against Showtime, it denied the network’s request to be compensated for attorney fees and costs, according to the decision.