Celebrity Justice - The FindLaw Celebrities and The Law Blog


Fans of the artist Prince were delighted with the recent announcement that a new posthumous album, named after the title track, 'Deliverance,' was being released. The unexpected surprise album was all set to release this Friday, on the one year anniversary of Prince's death. Unfortunately for fans, the album's producer, Prince's former sound engineer, will not be able to drop the album on time, or maybe ever at all, thanks to a federal court order.

The controversy over the new album is courtesy of Paisley Park, Prince's music company and estate. Essentially, Paisley Park convinced a court to temporarily stop the former sound engineer from releasing the six song album of unreleased Prince songs. Fortunately for fans, one of the tracks was released early, and has, hopefully, now been immortalized on the internet. Fans may have a long time to wait before ever hearing the other songs. While the order blocking the album release is only temporary, there is a high likelihood that it will be made permanent.

By just about any metric, Drake is one of the biggest rappers in the game. One of those metrics would be money, and Drake was in the top five of Forbes list of highest paid hip hop artists in 2016. But the label that claims to have signed Drake back in 2008 also claims it hasn't seen the profits from one of the most profitable acts in the business.

Aspire Music Group sued Cash Money Records in a Manhattan, New York court, claiming breach of contract, breach of good faith and fair dealing, and tortious interference over alleged unpaid profits and copyright royalties under the recording agreement between the two. So how much are we talking about, and where is all the money?

Tomi Lahren, the young conservative pundit hired by Glen Beck's TheBlaze, has filed a lawsuit after being effectively terminated by the show. Although Lahren is still being paid pursuant to her contract, she has been removed from the conservative political talk show. Lahren is alleging that her removal was due to her pro-choice stance, while TheBlaze denies that allegation and denies that Lahren has even been terminated.

Lahren's wrongful termination lawsuit alleges that after her appearance on The View, where she stated that being against abortion rights and against government regulation of individual rights is hypocritical, she was indefinitely suspended. The show issued a statement expressing confusion over how they can be sued for wrongful termination while Lahren was still technically employed and being paid.

The Warhol Foundation has filed a lawsuit against a photographer claiming that a 1984 piece by Andy Warhol infringes upon her copyright. The work of art in question is the Prince Series, which includes several different paintings of the musician Prince. The photographer claims that her 1981 publicity photo of Prince was used to make unauthorized derivative works.

The photographer, after the death of Prince last year, contacted the foundation to demand payment of damages for an alleged copyright infringement. However, the foundation believes that the claim is frivolous and nothing more than a shakedown. Rather than continue to waste time and money negotiating, the foundation has sought the help of the court in settling the dispute.

Celebrity chef Jose Andres has finally been able to settle the 2015 lawsuit filed against him by President Donald Trump's business organization. Andres was sued for withdrawing his plans to put a restaurant in the Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C. after President Trump made controversial, pejorative statements about Mexicans and other immigrants while on the campaign trail. After being served with the $10 million lawsuit for breach of contract, Andres fired back with an $8 million countersuit. Both Trump's case and Andres' case are now over.

Andres was not alone in pulling out of Trump's hotel over the derogatory statements calling Mexican immigrants "rapists" and "killers," and over anti-immigrant policies the Trump campaign was rallying behind. Another celebrity restaurateur, Geoffrey Zakarian, also abandoned plans for the same reason as Andres, and was also sued by Trump's business organization. The case against Zakarian also settled shortly after Andres' settlement.

Actress Amber Heard has filed a lawsuit against the producers of the movie London Fields as a result of an alleged breach of contract relating to nude and sex scenes she did not authorize in the producer's cut of the film. If you're not familiar with the movie, that's because it is yet to be released due to other litigation holding it up.

However, Amber Heard was not out looking for a legal battle. In November 2016, Ms. Heard, and the film's director Matthew Cullen, were sued by the film's producers for $10 million. The producers alleged Ms. Heard breached the contract by failing to finish some work on the film as well as failing to do promotional activities. Cullen was alleged to have changed the script in cahoots with Heard.

Hoverboards, those inaccurately named and infinitely injurious contraptions, remain a thing. But one hoverboard company is claiming that their product could be more of a thing, if only Jennifer Lopez had properly promoted the brand on Instagram and Twitter.

Sidekick Group Corp says it gave J.Lo over $50,000 worth of merchandise to use in a concert series, in return for promotion on social media, and is now contending that one tweet didn't fulfill that obligation.

While the first quarter of 2017 has barely reached a close, the wave of celebrity burglaries that has rocked Hollywood this year has netted close to $3 million in stolen goods. The list of celebrity targets is both long and distinguished. Victims include notable personalities such as Alanis Morissette, Nicki Minaj, Kendall Jenner, Emmy Rossum, and Jaime Pressly.

The robbery at Morissette's home is reportedly the largest of the group, reporting a nearly $2 million dollar heist of jewelry. Comparatively, Jenner, Minaj, Rossum, and Pressly were only robbed of a few hundred thousand dollars' worth of jewelry. In many of the cases, the robbers got past security systems and safes.

A recent court order from the Federal District Court in New York has limited the issues moving forward in the few year old legal saga over whether Iron Man's most recent metal suit was stolen, intellectually speaking. No, Tony Stark didn't leave his suit behind on some school campus, but rather two former artists for the Marvel company, which is part of Disney, claim that the Iron Man franchise ripped off the artwork from their similar comic book hero, named Radix.

The court found that although there are quite a few similar elements, some of the basic or generic characteristics of superhero costumes and wardrobes are not protectable under copyright law. Things like capes, boots, flared gloves, goggles, gold titanium alloy crime fighting suits, and more, are all part of the usual expectation of what a superhero looks like and wears, and therefore a non-copyrightable elements. However, color schemes, designs, and logos may still enjoy protection.

Comedian Katt Williams is no stranger to the legal system and wild accusations. Most recently, a former assistant filed a lawsuit alleging that not only did the comedian underpay her, he verbally abused her, punched her, locked her in a hotel, and abandoned her in an Atlanta airport, fortunately not all at once. The former assistant worked for Williams from 2012 to 2016.

While Katt Williams has not issued a response to these allegations as of yet, it is known that the former assistant bringing these claims is the victim for whom Katt Williams was arrested and charged with battery for punching in July 2016. She is seeking an unspecified amount of damages stemming from that assault, where her injuries were indicated as severe, as well as the damages stemming from her employment with Williams.