Edie Sedgwick, who became an “It Girl” after starring in Andy Warhol’s 1965 output of underground films, still has “It,” though she died in 1971. A dispute over rights to her image has made the circuit of federal and state courts, most recently in Judge Donna Geck’s Santa Barbara courtroom.
The fight over ownership of Edie Sedgwick’s beauty has been ongoing since 2006, when her husband, Michael Post, began to market her image after the film Factory Girl rekindled interest in her tragic story, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The seventh of eight children, Sedgwick had grown up on the East Coast and at the family’s Santa Ynez ranch, La Laguna de San Francisco. Her parents were East Coast brahmins, but the family history contained bouts of mental instability.
Post had married Sedgwick in July 1971, after they met at Cottage Hospital where both were being treated for drugs. The year before, she’d made the film Ciao Manhattan with David Weisman, in which she appears to play herself, recounting the drug-dizzy year she’d spent in Andy Warhol’s atelier. In it, she also describes riding “from dusk till dawn” as a child, a “hyper” activity that she said her mother would counter with barbiturates. She granted Weisman all rights to her name and likeness stemming from the film in December 1970.
In her tentative ruling, Judge Geck affirmed Weisman’s rights regarding the Ciao Manhattan images but said his rights were limited to that film. Post, as Sedgwick’s husband and heir, owns the other publicity rights, Geck ruled.
Sedgwick died of a barbiturate overdose in November 1971 at age 28.