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Val Kilmer Fights Back Against Allegations He Ripped Off Artist

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By Ryan Naumann

Val Kilmer is throwing shade at the artist suing him over a golden tumbleweed.

According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Kilmer is asking a judge to dismiss all claims against him in the lawsuit.

The actor was sued by a man named Bale Creek Allen, who accuses him of selling knockoffs of his work. He took issue with a golden tumbleweed sculpture Kilmer created.

In newly filed court documents, Kilmer argues Allen didn’t create anything original. He says, “Although Allen’s process is undoubtedly pain-staking and takes a high degree of skill, his resulting sculptures are replicas of tumbleweeds from nature— except covered in gold.”

Kilmer argues, “even if Plaintiff Allen added authorial contributions to the natural tumbleweed in his copyright registration and Complaint, Defendant Kilmer could only have infringed if he had copied Allen’s exact copyrighted tumbleweed sculpture. It is plain from the allegations of the Complaint (and from the above pictures included in the Complaint) that Kilmer did not. Kilmer may have taken the idea of gilding a tumbleweed from Allen, but it is axiomatic that copyright does not protect an idea, only the particular original expression of an idea.”

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The Blast

He adds, “Because it is clear from the Complaint that Kilmer did not copy any particular golden tumbleweed of Allen’s but reproduced a different tumbleweed from nature, there can be no possibility of infringement.”

Kilmer is adamant he didn’t copy Allen’s work but “made a realistic sculpture of a different tumbleweed.” The actor is demanding the case be dismissed.

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Last year, the artist sued Kilmer accusing him of ripping off his work.

Allen has been selling gold colored tumbleweed sculptures for years in art galleries around Texas and New Mexico.

Allen said at one-point Kilmer even approached him about buying the work but eventually said he couldn’t afford did. The artist says he then discovered Kilmer selling a knock off of his work for $150,000.

In 2016, Kilmer made one piece which he claimed to have dipped in 22k gold and bronzed. He put it up for sale at a Los Angeles boutique.

Once he discovered the alleged knock off, he reached out to Kilmer demanding he stop selling it but never heard back.

He sued seeking unspecified damages and a court order prohibiting the actor from selling any art that infringed on his copyrights.

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Kilmer fired back denying all allegations of ripping off the artist. He demanded the suit be thrown out.

The actor said he, “specifically denies that he has infringed or is liable for infringement of any purported copyright held by Mr. Allen.” He also argued Allen doesn’t have a proper copyright and therefore can’t sue.

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