Celebrity Justice - The FindLaw Celebrities and The Law Blog

February 2014 Archives

Da Brat to Pay $6.4M for Bottle Attack on Ex-NFL Cheerleader

Rapper Da Brat has been ordered to pay $6.4 million in damages to the victim she attacked with a rum bottle back in 2007.

Da Brat has already served three years in prison for the attack, but the victim, Shayla Stevens, filed a civil lawsuit against the rapper for her injuries, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

The jury awarded Stevens with $3.7 million in compensatory damages and $2.7 million in punitive damages.

2014 Oscars: 7 Legal Issues Depicted in 'Best Picture' Nominees

The 86th Annual Academy Awards are almost here. As people scramble to bet on the "Best Picture" winner, it's clear who the real winner is: the law.

Legal issues play a central role in a surprising number of this year's "Best Picture" Oscar nominees.

Here are seven of the "Best Picture" contenders and the real-life legal issues they portray on screen:

Nat'l Enquirer Settles Philip Seymour Hoffman 'Gay Lover' Suit

A settlement has been reached in The National Enquirer lawsuit over an article alleging Philip Seymour Hoffman and a friend were gay lovers.

As a result of the settlement, David Bar Katz, Hoffman's friend who found Hoffman dead, withdrew his suit against the tabloid, The New York Times reports.

According to Katz, the suit was never about the accusations of being gay, "the issue was lying about the drugs, that I would betray my friend by telling confidences."

'Party Down South's' Lyle Boudreaux Arrested After Car Burglary

Lyle Boudreaux, star of CMT's reality series "Party Down South," may have been partying a bit too hard since becoming famous. He was arrested for burglary over the weekend, after allegedly swiping a credit card and wallet from a parked car.

Police arrested Boudreaux, 28, of Lafayette, Louisiana, after he allegedly tried to use the stolen credit card to open a bar tab, according to The Advertiser.

It's been said that Louisiana knows how to celebrate Mardi Gras, but now that the party is over, the reality star faces burglary charges.

'Avatar's' Sam Worthington Arrested for Alleged Assault

"Avatar" star Sam Worthington was arrested Sunday night for allegedly assaulting a paparazzo in New York City.

In an interesting twist, the photographer, Sheng Li, 37, has also been arrested on charges of reckless endangerment, assault, and harassment, The Associated Press reports.

What caused this action movie actor to be cuffed?

'Wolf of Wall Street' Lawsuit: Lawyer Wants $25M for Defamation

The lawyer in the Oscar-nominated Martin Scorsese film "The Wolf of Wall Street" has sparked a $25 million lawsuit against the producers.

The lawsuit centers on the portrayal of Nicky "Rugrat" Koskoff, played by actor P.J. Byrne.

Real-life lawyer Andrew Greene claims he is the real "Rugrat" and was portrayed as a toupee-wearing, degenerate drug user -- without consent.

MLK's Bible, Nobel Medal Placed in Court's Care in Estate Fight

Martin Luther King Jr.'s personal Bible and Nobel Peace Prize medal must be stored in a safe deposit box that only the court will access, an Atlanta judge ruled.

The Bible and medal will remain there until an estate fight over the items between King's children is resolved, Reuters reports.

For the King children, a day of litigation is a day like any other.

'Titanic' Bit Actor Sues Over Back Pay, Residuals

A "Titanic" actor with a bit part in the 1997 blockbuster film is suing Twentieth Century Fox for residuals related to his one line.

Vi Jay, who played the generically named "Spindley Porter" opposite the larger-than-life Kathy Bates, is suing "Titanic's" producers and rights holders for allegedly not paying him his due, after he was given a minor speaking role in the film at the last minute, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Is Jay entitled to his tiny piece of the "Titanic" pie?

Fishbone Stage-Dive Victim Gets $1.4M for Injuries

A New Jersey woman has received $1.4 million in damages in a lawsuit against the rock band Fishbone for a stage dive gone wrong.

At a music festival in 2010, Kimberly Myers broke her skull and collarbone when Fishbone's lead singer Angelo "Dr. Madd Vibe" Moore dove into the crowd. A Pennsylvania federal judge recently ordered the band and Moore to dive deeply into their pockets to compensate Myers for a variety of damages.

Keeping with classic rebellious rocker spirit, Moore was singled out for punitive damages.

'Drake and Josh's' Drake Bell in Bankruptcy Proceedings: Report

Drake Bell, a former child star on Nickelodeon's "Drake and Josh," filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last May. The 27-year-old actor is seeking relief from debts reaching into seven figures.

The young star has been struggling with an erratic income and racked up around $2.166 million in debts since the hit Nickelodeon show ended, New York Daily News reports.

Bell certainly isn't alone when it comes to former child stars in dire financial straits. Last November, Aaron Carter filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy for debts mirroring Bell's figure: $2.2 million.

For Valentine's Day, 5 Legal Lessons We've Learned From Celebrities

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day, so let's talk about love -- legal love, that is. When it comes to love and law, there's no better source of inspiration than celebrities.

Whether it's about prenups or paternity, celebrities seem to have a special affinity for marrying the concepts of love and the law.

Here are five legal lessons on love that we've learned from celebrities:

Tyrese Denied Visitation With Daughter, Vows Legal Action

"Fast and Furious" star Tyrese was denied visitation of his daughter on Tuesday, with the girl's mother claiming the child was sick.

Tyrese arrived at Norma Gibson's North Hollywood home to pick up their 6-year-old daughter when he was greeted by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). According to TMZ, Gibson called them even before Tyrese arrived so that the po-po could view her child custody order.

Can Tyrese really be denied visitation if his daughter is sick?

Paul Walker's Will, Trust Offer Estate-Planning Lessons

Although Paul Walker was anything but ordinary, his will and trust can provide estate planning lessons for everyone.

Walker's will revealed interesting information about him and gives insight into what one should consider when drafting wills and trusts.

Here are seven estate planning lessons to learn from the late-actor's will.

Chris Kattan's DUI: Ex-'SNL' Star Blames Prescription Drugs

Former "Saturday Night Live" cast member Chris Kattan was arrested for DUI on the 101 Freeway in Southern California.

Kattan, best known for the sassy character Mango, was reportedly driving under the influence of prescription pills, The Associated Press reports.

For fellow drivers, Kattan's arrest is a cautionary tale: Driving under the influence of prescription pills -- even perfectly legal ones -- can lead to DUI arrests.

31 'Dallas Buyers Club' Torrent Downloaders Sued for Piracy

Copyright holders of the movie "Dallas Buyers Club" are suing 31 torrent users who've illegally shared the movie online.

The torrent downloaders are accused of unlawfully distributing the movie without the copyright owners' permission, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The owners worry with even just one unlawful copy floating out there, it could be distributed to a "limitless number of people."

So who are these mysterious alleged freeloaders?

After Philip Seymour Hoffman's Death, 3 Arrested on Drug Charges

As the investigation into actor Philip Seymour Hoffman's death continues, police have arrested three people on drug charges.

The three -- Robert Vineberg, 57, Max Rosenblum, 22, and his girlfriend Juliana Luchkiw, also 22 -- were arrested during a raid on a building in Lower Manhattan. Police were tracing what they believed to be the source of the heroin suspected of playing a role in the Oscar-winning actor's death. A fourth person was also arrested in the raid, but charges against him were later dropped, The New York Times reports.

What will prosecutors need to prove to make their case?

Justin Bieber on Homeland Security Watch List: Report

Justin Bieber may not be landing on any best-dressed lists, but it seems he may have snagged a spot on a Homeland Security watch list, according to a new report.

The troubled 19-year-old pop star was flagged by U.S. Customs officials on Friday when he landed in New Jersey in a private plane that arrived from Canada, the website TMZ reports.

But was the extra scrutiny due to Bieber's being on a government watch list, as the website claims?

Jon Gosselin Wants Temporary Custody of Kids, Psych Eval for Kate

Jon Gosselin, formerly of "Jon & Kate Plus Eight," wants temporary custody of his children. He also wants his ex-wife Kate Gosselin to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

In an interview with E! News, Jon claims that Kate is "instilling fear" to "control" their eight kids. Jon Gossein's comments come just two weeks after Kate and the couple's two oldest children appeared in a People magazine cover story.

So what will Jon need to do to get a court-ordered change of custody for his kids and a psychiatric evaluation for Kate?

Kim Kardashian's Identity Thief Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison

A 19-year-old identity thief targeted America's rich and famous -- ranging from Kim Kardashian and Kris Jenner to the head of the FBI -- but, not surprisingly, was ultimately caught by law enforcement.

Luis Flores Jr. illegally gained access to the high profile victims' credit cards and transferred thousands of dollars into his personal bank account, reports the Orlando Sentinel.

Flores was recently sentenced to three and half years in federal prison for his acts of identity theft.