Celebrity Justice - The FindLaw Celebrities and The Law Blog

January 2017 Archives

Robert O. Young, the creator of the pH Miracle Diet, which was praised by Kate Hudson, was arrested in 2014 and convicted in 2016 of practicing medicine without a license. He is still out on bail as he awaits a retrial on several charges that a jury could not reach a decision on. However, based on the three charges he has been found guilty of, he is looking at about three years in jail.

The pH diet he created is, according to experts, completely bogus. Unfortunately, before it became widely known that Young's diet was basically a scam to cheat the terminally ill and their families, thousands of people bought into his claims of acidity being the root of all evil. He sold millions of books worldwide, and even opened up the "pH Miracle Ranch" where he treated (or, more aptly, scammed) approximately 15 individuals claiming that an intravenous solution of baking soda would cure them.

Thursday morning, actor and artist Shia Labeouf was arrested outside his art installation at the Museum of Moving Image in New York City after he barely assaulted an apparent Hitler supporter. This incident coincides with the vehement social media debate currently underway regarding whether it is okay to assault Nazis.

Shia was standing near his interactive exhibit, when the Hitler supporter called him over seemingly to take a selfie. When Shia went over to him, the Hitler support says to Shia: "Hitler did nothing wrong." At that point, Shia can be seen pushing the man away. The man called police, alleging that Shia pulled his scarf and scratched his face, though the video shows Shia trying to push himself away from the Hitler supporter.

The individual that hacked into Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, and other celebrity iCloud accounts was sentenced to 9 months in prison and $5,700 in restitution for his crimes. The hacker used a targeted phishing scheme that tricked the celebrities into revealing their login credentials. Once he had their credentials, he was able to login to their accounts and access the private information as well as intimate photos of Lawrence, Upton, and other celebrities.

Surprisingly, the hacker is not being charged with selling, posting, or distributing any of the information he downloaded or accessed illegally. His plea agreement was only to one count of unauthorized access of a protected computer. While the maximum sentence for that crime is 5 years, the prosecution was agreeable to the short 9 month sentence.

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 Râpé, 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.