YouTuber Logan Paul Facing $3 Million Lawsuit over Controversial 'Suicide Forest' Video
Logan Paul faced backlash several years ago when he shared a video appearing to show the body of a suicide victim
According to court documents obtained by PEOPLE, 25-year-old Paul is being sued by a production company, Planeless Pictures. The company is claiming that they made a deal in 2016 to create a film starring Paul as a fictionalized version of himself, but the fallout from his video led to them losing their $3 million licensing deal.
A representative for Paul did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
The movie, called Airplane Mode, was slated to be a parody on influencers and social media stars and several of Paul’s peers had signed on to participate, including his brother Jake Paul, Juanpa Zurita, Nick Bateman, Amanda Cerny, Vitaly Zdorovetskiy, Brittany Furlan, David Dobrik and Casey Neistat.
Planeless Pictures is alleging that those plans — including the $3 million contract with Google — fell through when Paul posted the graphic video filmed in Aokigahara, a forest at Mount Fuji’s base that is often referred to as “suicide forest” due to the high number of suicides that occur there.
The lawsuit claims that Paul “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.”
The YouTuber “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,” it further alleges.
Paul posted the video in late 2017 and "on or about January 22, 2018, Google terminated its relationship with Planeless and refused to distribute its movie, Airplane Mode, as Google determined that the suicide broadcast was a noncurable event pursuant to its agreement with Planeless," the documents state.
"As a result, Planeless never received the compensation that Google was contractually obligated to pay to it — $3,500,000," the documents allege.
The company is seeking Paul to pay back that amount as well as other “general” and “consequential” damages, in addition to attorney’s fees and the cost of the lawsuit.
“Everyone deserves second chances, bro,” Paul told a TMZ cameraman in January 2018.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.