NEW YORK (AP) - The founder of a clothing company being sued by Woody Allen denies the defense ever wanted to delve into the film director's past.

Dov Charney of American Apparel said in a statement Wednesday that Allen "is a source of inspiration to me."

Allen sued the company for $10 million after it used his picture on its billboards and on a Web site. The film director says the company didn't have permission.

Company lawyers have said Allen's image was already beyond repair. They said they were thinking about calling Allen's former companion Mia Farrow and his current wife - Farrow's adopted daughter - as witnesses.

Jury selection is set for this month.

(This version CORRECTS that statement was issued Wednesday, not Thursday. )

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.