Celebrity Justice - FindLaw Celebrity Law Blog

Celebrity Justice - The FindLaw Celebrities and The Law Blog


James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, died in 2006, but a legal battle over his estate has been going on ever since. Brown's will left his entire estate to a charitable trust, leaving nothing to the woman he married in 2001, Tommie Rae Hynie.

But legally speaking, was Hynie even Brown's spouse at all? The question arose because Hynie had married another man in 1997; she filed for an annulment of that marriage in 2004, the same year James Brown filed for an annulment of his marriage with Hynie. (Brown dismissed his action after the couple reconciled.)

After Brown's death, Hynie contested his will, claiming that she had been married to Brown at the time. In a 46-page decision (!), a South Carolina judge agreed, potentially entitling Hynie to a portion of Brown's estate -- even though she was never mentioned in Brown's will.

Months after Joan Rivers' tragic death following a medical procedure, her daughter Melissa has filed a lawsuit against Yorkville Endoscopy Center, the New York clinic where Joan was having a routine procedure performed to remove a growth on her vocal cords.

During the procedure, Joan Rivers stopped breathing for a few minutes, which is long enough to permanently damage the brain. She died about a week later, after Melissa made the decision to take her off life support.

Eighties rocker Rick Springfield has prevailed in a personal injury lawsuit brought by a woman who claimed she was injured after being struck by the singer's butt.

The trial that ended last week in New York was the second trial to be held in the case, The Associated Press reports. The lawsuit against Springfield -- known for his 1981 hit "Jessie's Girl" as well as a recurring role on television soap opera "General Hospital" -- was originally filed in 2007, but the first trial in the case ended in a mistrial in 2013.

What were the facts behind this peculiar case?

Actor Mark Wahlberg has petitioned the state of Massachusetts to be pardoned for crimes he committed when he was 16.

Wahlberg was arrested in 1988 for attacking two Vietnamese men while trying to steal beer, reports The Associated Press. As a result of the attack, which left one man partially blinded, Wahlberg was convicted on a number of different criminal charges, including assault and battery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, possession of a controlled substance, and criminal contempt. Wahlberg subsequently served 45 days in jail.

Wahlberg, now 43, is looking to wipe the slate clean with a pardon. What does a pardon actually do and what does Wahlberg need to prove in order to get one?

Fitness model and reality TV star Greg Plitt may have been trespassing on the train tracks where he was struck and killed by a train Saturday afternoon near Los Angeles, authorities say.

Plitt, 37, was struck by a Metrolink commuter train about 4 p.m., reports the Los Angeles Times. According to crew members who were at the scene, Plitt may have been attempting to film a "Superman"-themed segment when he was struck just north of the Burbank Metrolink Station.

Metrolink officials said that Plitt and his crew had not obtained the permits required to film on the railroad's right-of-way.

Former "7th Heaven" star Stephen Collins must sit for a deposition, the judge in his ongoing divorce proceedings ruled Wednesday.

The ruling came after a request by Collins' estranged wife Faye Grant, reports The Associated Press. Grant wants Collins to answer questions about the financial fallout he claims occurred after an audio recording was released last year in which he admitted to inappropriate sexual conduct with three underage girls.

Collins claims the release of the taped confession, the truth of which he later acknowledged, ruined his career.

Adnan Syed, the subject of "Serial" -- the podcast that took the world by storm last fall -- might get some relief from the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.

Even though Syed was convicted of the murder of fellow high school student and ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee in 2000, and long ago exhausted his appeals, the podcast -- which reached the milestone of 5 million downloads faster than any other in iTunes history -- reignited interest in the case.

R&B singer The Weeknd was arrested over the weekend after allegedly punching a police officer in the head.

The incident occurred early Saturday in Las Vegas, reports E! Online. The Weeknd -- whose real name is Abel Tesfaye -- was reportedly involved in a fight involving a large group of people inside the Cromwell Hotel. When an officer attempting to break up the fight dragged The Weeknd into an elevator, he allegedly punched the officer in the head with a closed fist. As a result, The Weeknd found himself in slightly less hospitable accommodations: the Clark County Detention Center.

What charges is The Weeknd now facing following his arrest?

What happens when an episode of "The Good Wife" begins with on-screen disclaimers? In this case, you get a "ripped-from-the-headlines" subplot that (a) threatens to derail Alicia's latest campaign event (a televised debate) and (b) overshadows the few moments of actual legal drama.

Here's what you need to know from last night's episode, entitled "The Debate":

Want a 'Quickie' Wedding Like Ludacris? 5 Lyrical Legal Lessons

You may have heard by now: Rapper Ludacris (aka Christopher Bridges) married his longtime "lover and friend" Eudoxie Mbouguiengue a mere two weeks after proposing.

According to the New York Daily News, Luda proposed to Eudoxie on December 26 by lighting up the question "Eudoxie, will you marry me" in blue on a grass field while their plane flew overhead. Then, in his own words, he "did the thing before 2015" in a private ceremony over the holidays.

The real kicker, however, came when it was revealed that they got engaged and married on the same day, reports E! News.

It's sweet, romantic, and rife with legal issues. Like an obnoxious parent, we'll remind you that before you "act a fool" and have your own quickie wedding, consider these few pieces of Luda lyric-inspired advice: