Logan Paul faces a 3m lawsuit from Planeless Pictures over the cancellation of their 2016 film deal following the release of his "Suicide Forest" video.
In documents obtained by People, the production company is ordering the 25-year-old YouTuber to reimburse the amount lost because of the clip, which is said to show the corpse of a suicide victim hanging from a tree. The company alleged that it inked a deal with the internet personality for a 2016 film called "Airplane Mode," which was set to be a parody starring Paul and other YouTubers as fictionalised versions of themselves.
The contract was nullified as part of the fallout of the "Suicide Video," which showed Paul and his crew filming at the infamous Aokigahara forest in Japan. The forest, found at Mount Fuji's base, is often referred to as the "Suicide Forest" because of the high number of suicide cases that happens there.
Planeless Pictures alleges that Paul was aware of the implications if he posted the video. But he shared it nonetheless for the sake of personal gains. He had hoped that the clip would alleviate his celebrity status.
He "knew that the broadcast of the suicide would have a substantial impact on his followers and would also have a serious adverse impact on Planeless." He "intended to take advantage of the substantial anticipated exposure that the broadcast of the suicide would generate and thus enhance Paul's celebrity and acted in reckless disregard for the adverse consequences that he knew would result to Planeless."
Less than a year after he released the video, Google terminated its relationship with Planeless Pictures and refused to distribute "Airplane Mode." "As a result, Planeless never received the compensation that Google was contractually obligated to pay to it — $3,500,000."
The company is ordering Paul to pay not just the amount Google owed but also other "general" and "consequential" damages as well as attorney's fees and the cost to file the lawsuit.
Paul posted the "Suicide Forest" video on YouTube in 2017. The backlash and controversy that ensued thereafter tainted his image. He deleted the clip, apologised, and tried to rectify the damage by filming a PSA for suicide prevention.