Celebrity Justice - FindLaw Celebrity Law Blog

Celebrity Justice - The FindLaw Celebrities and The Law Blog


As a result of the lawsuit Alanis Morissette filed last year against her business managers, GSO Business Management and Jonathan Schwartz, Schwartz is facing a few years in prison. Schwartz admitted to embezzling nearly $5 million from Alanis over roughly a four year period. Additionally, Schwartz embezzled another $2 million from other clients. Maybe Alanis should've kept both hands in her pockets.

Last May, after Alanis filed her civil lawsuit, GSO Business Management quickly, and quietly, settled that case. While the exact details of the settlement are confidential, one would anticipate that the business management company made Alanis whole by paying back the stolen monies on Schwartz's behalf, whom they sued the day before Alanis filed her suit.

Alanis's civil lawsuit essentially led to the federal criminal prosecution of Schwartz for the embezzlement, or, technically, the failing to report the embezzled monies as income to the IRS (which is what he pled guilty to). Schwartz's plea deal should land him no more than four years, though technically, he could be facing over two decades behind bars.

A recent lawsuit filed by Johnny Depp against his former business managers and attorneys is seeking over $25 million. The company asserts that the actor's spending is to blame, while Mr. Depp asserts the real problem was gross mismanagement of his business, finances, and personal assets by his managers.

The lawsuit is the result of Depp hiring a new business manager, who after conducting an audit of his finances and business, discovered the gross mismanagement. Depp fired his former managers after they advised him to sell his home in France in order to payoff a rather large debt.

Richard Carpenter, the surviving member of his famous band, the Carpenters, knew exactly where to go after settlement negotiations broke down between him and Universal Music Group. Carpenter has filed a lawsuit against UMG on his own behalf, and on behalf of the estate of his dead sister and former bandmate, Karen Carpenter, for unpaid royalties. The lawsuit alleges that UMG owes over $2.3 million in unpaid royalties to the group, and that's only going back to 2008.

The bulk of the unpaid royalties come from digital downloads, which UMG allegedly handled as if it were the sale of a physical record or other album, rather than a type of license. In 2010, the Ninth Circuit ruled in a case for the artist Eminem that downloads should be treated as licensing deals. Unfortunately for UMG, the Carpenters' contract called for a much higher royalty for licensing deals than album sales.

The brazen robbery of Kim Kardashian in a Paris hotel last year is looking a little less Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and a little more Ocean's Eleven. A grand total of 17 suspects have been arrested by French police, including Kardashian's limo driver and men dubbed "Old Omar," Marceau "the gypsy," and Nez Rp, or Broken Nose.

So just how elaborate was the $10 million jewelry heist? Police may just be scratching the surface.

The battle between former 'The View' star Sherri Shepherd and ex-husband Lamar Sally over their child Lamar Jr., has been as acrimonious as it has been public. Shepherd first tried, without success, to disavow any legal responsibility for the boy, who was born via surrogate using a donor egg and Sally's sperm. She was also unsuccessful in her attempts to skirt paying child support.

Now, Shepherd is fighting tooth and nail against Sally's request for an increase in those child support payments, saying the California court in which the request for modification was filed lacks jurisdiction over the case.

The recently lawsuit filed by Michael Grossman and his life partner Michael Ludin against the Directors Guild of America (DGA) is taking on one of Hollywood's oldest organizations. The pair are claiming discrimination and suing the 80-year-old DGA after their health plan refused to pay for naturopathic care.

While the Affordable Care Act and other health insurance regulations provide that some alternative medicines and treatments should be covered by health insurance under certain scenarios, at this stage it is unclear whether the underlying treatment received by Ludin is something that is seen as a legit or quack-treatment.

Generally, naturopathic care encompasses quite a few different types of treatments, including semi-reputable treatments such as chiropractic or acupuncture. However, naturopathic care and treatment can also be dangerous, fraudulent, and downright foolish in its denial of actual scientific effectiveness, such as with vaccines, or other modern treatments, which some naturopaths claim are bad.

America's first celebrity president is having a bit of trouble finding celebrities to perform at his inauguration. While the list of confirmed performers sits at the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and 16-year-old former America's Got Talent singer named Jackie Evancho, the list of those who've declined Donald Trump's invitations includes varied luminaries from Elton John to Garth Brooks and Andrea Bocelli to Kiss.

One group of performers' famous legs were straddling the fence on whether to perform for the infamous President-elect: initial reports said the Radio City Rockettes were being forced by their employer to dance at the inauguration, but it now looks like participation at the event will be voluntary. So how many will show?

Hollywood lost a little of its luster in 2016, with the passing of stars from Alan Rickman to Alan Thicke. But it didn't lose any of its litigiousness, with plenty of A-listers involved in high-stakes lawsuits.

Here's a look at the biggest celebrity lawsuits of the last year:

Rick Ross has got to be feeling pretty smart after a California Federal Court officially ruled that he can use the word "Mastermind" for the title of the album he already released in 2014, and as his self appointed nickname. Another rapper, lesser known Raul Caiz, had trademarked the name years ago, but never achieved notoriety. When Caiz learned of Ross's newest album, he filed a $2 million trademark infringement lawsuit last year after his cease and desist letter went unanswered. Caiz claims to have used the name Mastermind over his 17 year music career and that Ross's use of the album name and nickname was likely to cause confusion.

In response to the lawsuit, Rick Ross filed a counterclaim seeking to have Caiz's trademark cancelled as being overly broad. Recently, the federal court judge dismissed Caiz's claims and granted Ross's request to cancel Caiz's trademark.

Top 5 Celebrity Arrests of 2016

The year ain't over yet. Meaning that some A, B, or C-list stars could still make it on this countdown. (And let's be honest, we welcome D-listers as well.) But with time running out on 2016, we thought we'd take a moment and look back on the most notorious celeb busts of the year.

And considering the last 350-plus days have been known more for the tragic deaths of some of music, movies, and pop culture's most kindred souls, perhaps the celebrities below should feel fortunate they only went to jail, and not the great beyond.