According to the lawsuit, in August 2010 Deschanel's agent at CAA and Steve Madden made a binding, oral agreement stating that the starlet would be paid $2 million by the company to front a line of shoes, tentatively called "Zooey's Shoes and Accessories." She was told that she would be paid regardless of whether or not the items were actually produced, and that the payment would cover 13 days of work, including a photo shoot for an ad as well as press appearances.
A few weeks later, Steve Madden came back to the Deschanel camp, complaining that one retailer in particular was not keen on the collaboration, which meant they'd have to reduce the fee to $1.5 million. Deschanel's agent agreed to the new fee. During this time, the actress refrained from entering into any similar contracts, as that was part of the oral agreement.
Except in October 2010, Steve Madden went back to Zooey's agent and said that the deal was kaputt.
So our dear Ms. Deschanel still wants her money. Does she deserve it?
Well, under California State law, verbal contracts are binding. But it's very difficult to prove. We're guessing Madden will pay up, or at least settle, as to avoid more bad press.
And hopefully Zooey will "design" a line for someone else, because we bet it would be real cute.