Celebrity Justice - The FindLaw Celebrities and The Law Blog

August 2013 Archives

Lamar Odom's DUI Is Real; MIA, Divorce Rumors Are Not

Khloe Kardashian's NBA hubby Lamar Odom was arrested on suspicion of DUI this morning. The basketball player's coordination was apparently off on U.S. 101 in Los Angeles, where he was allegedly driving erratically just before 4 a.m.

While the DUI is all too real, recent reports that Odom went missing after a fight with Khloe and that the two are legally separating are apparently not true, according to various sources.

Here's what we know to be true, and what reports now say are not true, about Lamar Odom's ordeal:

Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta Jones 'Working On Their Marriage'

Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones are taking a break from their marriage, reports CNN. A representative for Zeta-Jones says the two are "taking some time apart to evaluate and work on their marriage."

Douglas, 68, and Zeta-Jones, 43, have two children together. Both say they want the best for their kids, regardless of the outcome, reports a family friend.

But what does their separation mean for their marriage?

Paula Deen Lawsuit Dismissed 'With Prejudice'

A federal judge has approved a deal to dismiss the lawsuit against Paula Deen. So it looks as though the most recent development in the ex-Food Network star's legal saga may also be the last one.

Deen's legal troubles began when former employee Lisa Jackson filed a lawsuit against the celebrity chef and her brother, accusing them of racial discrimination and sexual harassment. The recipe turned out even more disastrous, after Deen admitted in a deposition to using the N-word in the past. In the commotion that followed, Deen was let go from Food Network.

Now, it looks as though she can put some of that to rest, as the Paula Deen lawsuit has been dismissed "with prejudice." What does that mean, exactly?

Flo Rida Lawsuit Can't Be Served via Facebook, Court Rules

Rapper Flo Rida has been let off the hook by an Australian court, after it confirmed that the performer could not properly be served with a lawsuit on his Facebook page.

The recent decision by the Australian appellate court follows a 2011 ruling by an Australian district court judge that permitted an event management company, Mothership Music, the right to serve Flo Rida with a breach of contract suit by posting it on the singer's Facebook profile, reports the ABA Journal.

Using Facebook to serve lawsuits seems silly, and in this case, also incredibly ineffective.

Donald Trump Sued for Fraud Over 'Trump University'

Real estate mogul Donald Trump is in hot water after New York's attorney general sued him for $40 million over the entrepreneur's "Trump University" promises.

The suit alleges that Trump's eponymous institution was largely a sham, serving to bilk more than 5,000 students out of tens of thousands of dollars and not delivering on its promised apprenticeships, reports The Associated Press.

What legal trouble does America's iconically coifed billionaire face from this fraud suit?

Lamar Odom, Khloe Kardashian Are Separated: Reports

Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom are over, sort of. TMZ reports that Khloe "'effectively' declared separation" after she allegedly threw Lamar out of the house last week. Odom apparently refused an intervention due to his alleged drug problem, sources told the website.

TMZ claims Khloe had made it clear to Lamar that if he didn't seek help for his alleged addiction, then their relationship would be over and she wouldn't want to have anything to do with him anymore.

If the couple has separated, legally or informally, then it could be the first step toward a divorce. What exactly would a separation mean for the high-profile couple?

'Bob Dylan Hair' Goes to Dan Auerbach's Ex in Divorce Settlement

Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach has finalized his divorce, leaving his ex with millions of dollars... and an asset listed as "Bob Dylan hair."

The reference to the highly coveted coif of 72-year-old folk star Bob Dylan was included in Auerbach's settlement with his ex-wife Stephanie Gonis, ending a fairly heated divorce battle between the two, reports The Huffington Post.

While it's not clear what Gonis will do with the "Bob Dylan hair," the settlement shows that all property can be considered for a divorce.

Kanye West Sued Over Alleged LAX Assault on Photographer

Kanye West is being sued by a paparazzo over an alleged assault at Los Angeles International Airport -- and surprisingly, Gloria Allred is at the helm of the lawsuit.

The famed civil rights attorney is representing a photographer who got into a physical altercation with West. The photog's video captured the rapper lunging at him in an attempt to grab the camera away from him after a verbal spat.

The paparazzo is alleging assault, battery and interference with his civil rights.

'Price Is Right' Winner Warns Contestants About Taxes

A woman who won fabulous prizes on “The Price Is Right” has a warning for contestants: When you “come on down” to pick up your winnings, be prepared to pay your taxes.

Andrea Schwartz won $33,000 worth of prizes on the TV game show in March 2012, including a pool table, a shuffleboard table, and even “a new car!” — a shiny red Mazda 2. But what came with all those goodies was an unexpected tax bill.

“Yeah, you don’t just drive off the back lot with the car,” Schwartz told Yahoo! Shine. “After the show, you fill out some paperwork and basically sign your life away. You say that you’re going to pay the taxes on it. If you win in California, you have to actually pay the California state income tax ahead of time.”

Chubby Checker's Lawsuit Over Penis-Measuring App Can Proceed

Musician Chubby Checker is free to sue HP over a software app that not only bears his trademark but also estimates penis size.

"The Chubby Checker" is a pun-laden app that went on sale in 2006, promising to approximate -- in line with myth and legend around predicting peckeroo length -- "the size of a man's genitals based on his shoe size," reports Reuters.

But the same man who once asked sock-hoppers to "do the Twist" apparently doesn't want his stage name mixed up with the app, and he's going to great lengths in court to stop it.

5 Legal Lessons From 'Orange Is the New Black'

Netflix's latest original series, "Orange Is the New Black," features not only an ensemble cast of incredible actors giving the audience a peek into the world of women's prisons, it also serves as a conversation starter for legal issues facing female inmates.

With the fewest amount of spoilers possible, here are five legal lessons seen in the Netflix-streamed dramedy:

Judge Judy's Son Sues Sheriff for Defamation

Judge Judy's son is suing a local sheriff for defamation -- and no, Judge Judy will not be the presiding judge in the matter.

Putnam County District Attorney Adam Levy, otherwise known as "Judge Judy's son," is suing Putnam County Sheriff Donald Smith for $5 million for saying Levy interfered in a child rape case.

The mudslinging is in full swing, and it's almost a shame that it won't be featured on daytime television.

Heidi Fleiss Now a Madam of Marijuana?

Notorious former "Hollywood madam" Heidi Fleiss seems to have turned her attention to marijuana. Fleiss' home in Nevada was visited by sheriff's deputies on Tuesday. She now faces charges for growing nearly 400 pot plants in her desert home.

Although Fleiss was not arrested, officers did seize 392 pot plants, grow lights, and other marijuana cultivation tools that Fleiss claimed she was using to sell cannabis to a Las Vegas pot collective -- though she lacked a legal license to grow, reports TMZ.

What's next for the pot-growing former pimpstress?

Paula Deen Lawsuit: Racial Discrimination Claims Thrown Out

The latest update in the Paula Deen lawsuit: claims of racial discrimination didn't survive the chopping block.

A federal judge in Georgia has ruled that plaintiff Lisa Jackson, who is white, has no standing to sue Deen's restaurant for race discrimination. Jackson was a former restaurant manager at one of Deen and her brother's restaurants, Uncle Bubba's Seafood and Oyster House.

What exactly does this ruling mean for Jackson's lawsuit against Deen?

Did The Game's Tattoos Get Him Kicked Out of Restaurant?

The rapper known as The Game was apparently kicked out of a restaurant, and he feels it's because of his tattoos. E! Online reports the rapper was denied service at a restaurant called Houston's in Pasadena, California, and was asked to leave by the manager. The Game claims it was because his body art was apparently threatening to other patrons in the restaurant.

The rapper sent out several incredulous tweets following the incident. Many of his fans followed suit and tweeted out messages urging others to boycott the restaurant.

But is it actually legal for a business to refuse service because of a customer's tattoos?

'Amish Mafia' Star's Car Chase Leads to Prison Sentence

"Amish Mafia" star Alan Beiler has been sentenced to a three- to 23-month stint in prison, reports The Associated Press.

The 35-year-old star of the Discovery Channel reality show led Pennsylvania state troopers on a car chase last summer that resulted in a trooper getting injured.

Beiler pleaded guilty in May to charges of drug possession, driving with a suspended license, and attempting to elude officers. What do these charges mean?

'Sandlot' Actor Arrested: You're Killin' Me, Smalls!

"The Sandlot" actor Tom Guiry was arrested at a Houston airport on Saturday after he allegedly headbutted a cop who offered him a ride to a "sober center" to dry out.

Guiry, who played the baseball-loving Scotty Smalls in "The Sandlot" was flagged by United Airlines employees as being "too wasted" to fly and became belligerent when police told him he would need to sober up or be arrested for public intoxication, reports The New York Post.

Allegedly threatening police officers is a rookie move, and headbutting them isn't a home run either.

Usher's Ex Seeks Custody of Sons After Pool Accident

Usher's ex-wife is seeking custody of their 5-year-old son after he ended up in the hospital because of a pool accident. The incident happened when their son, also named Usher, got stuck in a drain at the bottom of the pool and nearly drowned. He was trying to retrieve a toy.

Tameka Foster filed for temporary primary custody a day after son Usher Raymond V was rescued from the pool drain, citing a dangerous environment, TMZ reports.

But what exactly is a dangerous environment?

Jack White's Estranged Wife Gets Temporary Restraining Order

Jack White's estranged wife Karen Elson has secured a temporary restraining order against the former frontman of the White Stripes.

Elson, 34, a British model, successfully asked a Tennessee court to issue the temporary restraining order ("TRO") in July, according to E! News. The TRO prohibits all contact between the ex-couple, except for the purposes of discussing custody issues.

What's behind the TRO, and could it become permanent?

50 Cent Must Turn in Guns in Domestic Violence Case

Rapper 50 Cent pleaded not guilty to domestic violence charges Monday, as a Los Angeles court ordered him to turn in his guns.

50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis James Jackson III, was charged over allegations that he had kicked Daphne Joy, who claims to be the mother of his child, and destroyed property in her L.A. condo, reports TMZ.

Domestic violence cases often have measures in place to protect victims, even when the suspected abuser is someone as famous as 50 Cent.

Kelly Clarkson's Plan for Jane Austen's Ring Met With Pride, Prejudice

Kelly Clarkson bought a Jane Austen ring for close to a quarter-million dollars, but now British authorities are trying to block her from taking it home to the good ol' U.S. of A.

Clarkson bought the ring, anonymously, last year at a jewelry auction at Sotheby's for about $233,000, after outbidding seven other potential purchasers, according to The Telegraph. But the UK's national culture minister put a temporary export ban on the ring, hoping for a "native" to buy it and keep it in Britain as a national cultural treasure.

But is it legal for the Brits to block a Yank's purchase?

Artist's 'Kung Fu Panda' Lawsuit Dismissed

An artist's "Kung Fu Panda" lawsuit has been dismissed. Cartoonist Jayme Gordon, whose suit had actually survived a summary judgment motion a few months ago, has now withdrawn his claim.

Gordon had insisted that he was the original artist behind DreamWorks' "Kung Fu Panda," which came out in 2008. Gordon had backed up his claim with a copyright registration of his drawings from 2000 that seemed to bear (pun intended) an uncanny resemblance to Po, the main character in "Kung Fu Panda," according to The Hollywood Reporter.

DreamWorks, however, fought back with evidence of its own.