Celebrity Justice - The FindLaw Celebrities and The Law Blog


Few cars are as synonymous with a movie as the DeLorean DMC-12 is with the Back to the Future franchise. After all, as Doc Brown said, "If you're going to build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?!" Perhaps because the DeLorean Motor Company flamed out so quickly and famously, the DMC-12 has remained one of the most iconic automobiles in history, along with its flux capacitor and 1.21 gigawatts of power needed for time travel.

But who owns the rights to that iconic image? The matter seemed to be resolved in 2015, when John DeLorean's widow Sally signed settlements with the current iteration of the DeLorean Motor Company and Universal Studios divvying up the rights and royalties to the company name and the car itself. Sally DeLorean sued DMC this year, however, claiming the company underpaid royalties owed to her, but a judge has dismissed that suit, citing the earlier settlement. Here are the details.

Fired Fleetwood Mac guitarist and singer Lindsey Buckingham has filed a lawsuit against remaining band members Mick Fleetwood, John and Christine McVie, and Stevie Nicks, attempting to enforce his "right to share in the economic opportunities he is entitled to as a member of the partnership created to operate the business of Fleetwood Mac."

Though Buckingham admits there has never been a written band agreement among the members, he claims he was informed of his firing via second hand news on the eve of a world tour, and that he had delayed dreams of his own tour and album release to go on the road with Fleetwood Mac. He is suing for $12 million in damages along with a share of the tour proceeds.

Appeals Court Lifts Injunction on Lynyrd Skynyrd Movie

Street Survivor: The True Story of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash, the movie about the fateful Lynyrd Skynyrd accident that killed three of the band's members, appears headed to a theater near you. Though the lower court initially blocked the film and music company, Cleopatra, from distributing the movie based on a consent decree between members of the band, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the consent decree was "sufficiently inconsistent," and is letting the film progress to release.

Police Arrest 4 in Celebrity Home Burglaries

When kids talk about going into the family business, who knew it meant robbing homes of high profile celebrities?

Evidently, that's the new trend in Los Angeles, where four people were recently arrested for burglarizing the homes of potentially dozens of celebrities over the last several months. Two of those arrested are a mother-son dynamic duo. Stolen property totaled in the millions of dollars, and victims include Rihanna, LA Rams Robert Woods, and LA Dodger Yasiel Puig, among others. Police also found plans to burglarize a dozen others, most notably Viola Davis, LeBron James, and Matt Damon.

'Jersey Shore' Star Goes to Prison for Tax Evasion

Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino pleaded guilty to tax evasion and was sentenced to eight months in federal prison, forced to perform 500 hours of community service, and fined $10,000. The "Jersey Shores" star evaded as much as $1.5 million in taxes for failing to report around $9 million earned from public promotional appearances as well as non-monetary earnings, such as luxury cars, clothing, and other business swag.

He had faced a maximum of five years in prison before reaching this plea deal with federal prosecutors. This sentence comes on the heels of his brother's, who received a 24 month sentence for preparing the tax return that The Situation signed.

When you think "Friday the 13th," you think of Jason Vorhees, stalking victims with a butcher knife from behind a hockey mask. But true fans remember that Jason wasn't the featured mass killer in the film that begat the franchise, and in fact barely appeared in it at all. Those fans may also remember that the film premiered almost 40 years ago.

Both of those facts, though, carry a lot of significance for Victor Miller, who wrote the screenplay in 1979. Miller was finally able to claw back, so to speak, his copyrights to the movie. But how far do those rights extend?

Nelly Sex Assault Lawsuit Disappears

In 2017, Nelly was accused of raping Monique Greene, a 21 year old woman, on his tour bus in Washington. The rape charges were eventually dismissed because Greene refused to testify. Greene quickly followed with a lawsuit for sexual assault and defamation. In that suit, Greene included the testimony of two other women that allege Nelly sexually assaulted them in the U.K.

In addition to damages, Greene requested that Nelly be ordered to never sexually assault again, which is an odd relief request. Nelly counter-sued for defamation.

Elton John Wins Libel Suit Over False Dog Attack Statements

As Sir Elton John so famously said about the press, "They can say I'm a fat, old sod. They can say I'm an untalented bastard. They can call me a poof. But they mustn't lie about me."

Sir Elton John and David Furnish have accepted an apology, undisclosed monetary damages, and legal fees in the libel suit they brought against News Group Newspaper (NGN) over a printed statement that their spaniel inflicted "Freddy Krueger-like injuries" on a five-year-old girl while at their Berkshire estate. The libel statements continue, stating that the girl was "subjected to a serious attack" and that Sir Elton and Furnish had "failed to make any attempt to find out how the little girl was... despite being aware of the incident." According to plaintiffs, nothing could be further from the truth.

Bill Cosby Sentenced to 3 to 10 Years in Prison, Classified SVP

Bill Cosby, widely viewed as the first #MeToo defendant, was sentenced to three to 10 years in state prison for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his home in 2004. He was also classified as a sexually violent predator (SVP), which requires a lifetime registration, lifetime mandatory sex offender counseling, and notification to the community that a sexually violent predator lives in the area. He was also fined $25,000.

Suge Knight Will Serve 28 Years in Prison

Marion Hugh "Suge" Knight pleaded "no contest" to voluntary manslaughter in the death of Terry Carter in Compton, California. In January 2015, Knight, the former producer and founder of rap label Death Row Records, allegedly hit Carter and Cle "Bone" Sloan with his truck, killing Carter and severely injuring Sloan.

Though Knight claimed this was in self-defense, as someone had just threatened his life with a gun, evidently it didn't appear that this defense could be proven. After going through 15 defense lawyers and sitting in a Los Angeles County Jail for the last three years awaiting trial because his bail had been revoked, Suge waived his right to a jury trial and accepted a plea deal.