Are California courts ready for another Kim Kardashian lawsuit?
As we discussed on this blog in July, Kim Kardashian is suing Old Navy in a right of publicity claim, alleging that the company intentionally hired a Kardashian-kopy to promote its products in a television commercial.
But that's not the only litigation Kim's involved in; the most famous Kardashian is facing mounting legal battles, both as a plaintiff and a defendant.
As a defendant, Kardashian is being sued by a hair-removal device company for allegedly making false statements about TRIA, a rival hair-removal device that she endorses. She's also being sued by a comedian, for allegedly perpetrating a hoax with her 72-day marriage to Kris Humphries. (Good news for Kim: We doubt the comedian will be able to demonstrate an injury in fact.)
As a plaintiff, Kardashian recently added a defamation lawsuit against her former publicist to her on-going litigation roster. Now, there might be a new Kardashian lawsuit in the making. BoycottKim.com, an online petition aimed at thwarting the Kardashian kommercial komglomerate, could be the next defendant in the long line of Kardashian litigants.
BoycottKim's California-based founder claims he was recently contacted by Christopher T. Wilson, the Kardashian family's general counsel, who allegedly argued that sections of BoycottKim.com were factually incorrect. The founder, who wants to remain anonymous, also said that Wilson warned him that another Kardashian attorney, Martin Singer, is threatening to file a criminal harassment complaint, reports the New York Daily News.
We don't give the hearsay-within-hearsay criminal harassment allegation from the anonymous website founder much weight, but a false statement or defamation claim against the website could have legs.
BoycottKim.com asks people to boycott Kardashian's products, websites, and television shows. The website includes allegations that Oprah said Kim is a phony, and that Kardashian-branded merchandise is produced in Chinese sweatshops, while describing Kardashian as a "talentless, tasteless and shameless parasite."
While most of those claims sound more like the ranting of high school Facebook frenemies, a Kardashian lawsuit to stop BoycottKim.com could succeed if Kim proved that the statements published on the website are false and not privileged. And the actual malice requirement necessary for a public figure? That seems almost a given.
Finally, judging from the success of petition -- over half a million people have already agreed to boycott Kim -- it seems like Kardashian could easily demonstrate that the BoycottKim.com statements caused her financial harm.
Regardless of the outcomes of the Kim Kardashian lawsuits, the Kardashian machine is generating a lot of business of California lawyers.
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