Celebrity Justice - The FindLaw Celebrities and The Law Blog

November 2009 Archives

Lil' Wayne Lawsuit Dismissed: "The Carter" Released

A new music documentary about rap super star Lil' Wayne is now available on iTunes and as a DVD.

The Carter, premiered to wide acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.  It is packed with Lil Wayne's music, all of it carefully contextualized according to fair-use laws.

Still, the documentary seems to have ruffled the rapper's feathers and maybe his lawyer's too.

Report: Police Seek Search Warrant re Tiger Woods Crash

There has been much speculation about what precipitated the recent Tiger Woods crash.

TMZ now reports that the Florida Highway Patrol is attempting to obtain a search warrant that will enable them to access medical records from the hospital that tended to Tiger Woods after his car accident. The Tiger Woods crash raises questions due to statements that alcohol was not involved. Since there was no alcohol involved, the Florida Highway Patrol wants to investigate what exactly caused the Tiger Woods crash. 

Rumors of domestic abuse are swirling around Tiger Woods and his wife Elin Nordegren. According to TMZ, she allegedly confronted him about rumors of an affair. TMZ speculates that Elin followed Tiger Woods out of the house and struck his car with a golf club.

Rumors that Woods had been taking prescription pain killers have TMZ speculating that suspicion of DUI could also be a reason police want his hospital records. 

Taco Bell Ad Causes Beef With 50 Cent

A Taco Bell ad caused beef with 50 Cent. And we all know that having beef with 50 Cent never pays off. 

Bloomberg reports that the fast food chain recently settled a lawsuit by the infamous hip hop artist which claimed that Taco Bell used his persona and trademark to promote its new value menu. The settlement between the hip hop artist formally known as Curtis Jackson and the chain was made official by Judge Naomi Buckwald on Nov. 13, 2009.

50 Cent filed a complaint in NY District Court back in the summer of 2008 claiming that Taco Bell had used his stage name in a fake letter that it sent to news outlets. The fake letter asked 50 Cent to change his name to "79 Cent", "89 Cent" or "99 Cent" in order to promote the Taco Bell's Value Menu. The letter was picked up by news outlets, but a formal letter was never sent to 50 Cent himself.

Maria Shriver and Parking Rules Do Not Mix

It's clear that good laws don't make good citizens.

As of late, First Lady of California Maria Shriver has been caught several times in violation of traffic and parking rules.

She's been caught on video parking in the redzone, in addition to being caught three times driving while talking on a handset.

Days after her Governator hubby found the red zone perfectly suitable to the interior of his Porsche, California's first lady (or at least her Highway Patrol bodyguard) decided parking meters don't really apply to her or her Escalade.

Update: Theft Conviction in Broderick Parker Surrogate Case

The Ohio Police Chief accused of burglarizing the home of the woman who is a surrogate mom for Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker was recently found guilty on three of six charges.

According to People.com, Martin's Ferry Police Chief Barry Carpenter, 40, along with another police chief, was accused of meeting with freelance photographers last May and offering items such as a poem, photos, legal documents about the Broderick Parker surrogacy agreement, and pictures of ultrasounds. A photographer alerted the surrogacy agency, which reported the thefts to police.

Michael Barrett Pleads Not Guilty to Stalking ESPN's Erin Andrews

In a maneuver that should surprise no one, accused stalker and purveyor of fine videos, Michael Barrett 48, pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Monday. The charge against Barrett was one count of interstate stalking realting to secret videos he allegedly made of ESPN reporter Erin Andrews. Barrett's lawyers have stressed in past hearings that their client has no prior criminal record and says he is deeply sorry for the circumstances "that prompted the charges."

Parking Violation: Governor of California Caught in Red Zone

Looks like even the governor has trouble complying with California's traffic laws.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was caught getting into his silver convertible Porsche in a red zone, the Los Angles Times reports.

Dog Gone Wild: J. Lo & Marc Anthony Sued over Pet Pooch Floyd

Things are certainly ruff for Jennifer Lopez and her crooner hubby Marc Anthony. They are getting sued by a flight attendant who claims she was injured by their pet pooch. Talk about a dog gone wild!

The flight attendant, Ms. Lisa Wilson, filed the lawsuit in Brooklyn Federal Court. According to The New York Daily News, while Ms. Wilson was carrying sharp utensils to the famous couple for their meal, the German Shepherd growled at her and then he lunged at her.

When the dog lunged at her, he butted his head against her leg. The impact of the headbutt caused Ms. Wilson to fall backward. She claims that she severely hurt her back from the incident.  

Senator Kerry Defends Daughter Booked on Suspicion of DUI

Sen. John Kerry's daughter was arrested Thursday in Los Angeles and booked on suspicion of DUI, police said.

According to the Associated Press, officers stopped Alexandra Forbes Kerry for expired registration tags.

Like Father, Like Daughter: Trumps Settle with NJ Casinos

The Donald and the daughter ended their ongoing battle with the New Jersey casinos and company that still bear the Trump name, yesterday.  The Trumps will become proud owners of 10% of the Atlantic City casinos Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino and the Trump Marina Hotel Casino, once they emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. This deal ends the Trumps' litigation against the casino company Trump Entertaiment Resorts and releases it from the more than $100 million worth of claims the Trumps had against it.

Rocker Rod Stewart Sued for $3.3 Mil by Own Attorneys

It seems that forever young Rod Stewart better start singing a new song... at least one that his litigation law firm likes a bit better. The firm of Glaser, Weil, Fink, Jacobs, Howard & Shapiro, former attorneys of Rod Stewart, has sued their client of more than 20 years for unpaid fees totaling just over $3.3 million. Fortunately for Rod, the sum comes out to be a bit less in pounds sterling.

Nick Cage Spends National Treasure, Sues Ex-Biz Manager

The lawsuit against Nicolas Cage's ex-business manager holds a story sadder than Captain Corelli's Mandolin and older than the Hollywood hills. Gone is the old fashioned movie star who went broke spending his money on wine, women and song. Star version 2.0 - Nick Cage, neé Coppola, is in a heap of financial and legal trouble because he spent a bit too much money on a Gulfstream, an armada of yachts and two crumbling castles. How would you like to get a loan modification on that?

Tila Tequila Accuses Shawne Merriman of Assault and Battery

Taking a shot at Tequila versus taking a shot of tequila can bring you a lawsuit. The infamous star of the reality show A Shot at Love With Tila Tequila has filed a civil lawsuit claiming domestic assault against her former lover, NFL player Shawne Merriman of the San Diego Chargers.

According to The New York Daily News, the lawsuit was filed in San Diego Superior Court and is for assault, battery, false imprisonment, and emotional distress. It was brought by Tila Tequila after the San Diego County D.A. abstained from pressing criminal charges against Mr. Merriman. Prosecutors declined to charge the NFL player because they say that they did not have enough evidence to prove that a crime was committed.

TMZ.com shows pictures of a very bruised Tila Tequila. She claims that she received the bruises at the hands of Mr. Merriman when she attempted to leave his house last September. She alleges that the NFL player "grabbed her, shook her like a rag doll, threw her down and choked her."

Matthew Broderick Sarah Jessica Parker Surrogate Trial Begins

The trial involving Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker's surrogate mother has now officially started.

As reported by E! , the trial involves Martins Ferry Police Chief Barry Carpenter who is charged with burglarizing the home of the surrogate mother. Mr. Carpenter allegedly broke in to Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick's surrogate's home in order to steal information regarding their twin babies to sell to tabloids.

Mr. Carpenter's alleged accomplice was another man involved with the law. His alleged accomplice is Bridgeport Sheriff Mr. Chad Dojack. Mr. Dojack's trial is slated to start in January. The mayor of Bridgeport's son Bruce Callarik has also been charged with complicity to receive stolen property.

$400 Billion Copyright Case against Bon Jovi Pursued

A Boston songwriter Samuel Steele alleges rock star Jon Bon Jovi, ripped off his lyrics and is pursuing a $400 billion lawsuit.

Steele claims the New Jersey rocker lifted lyrics from his 2004 Red Sox anthem, "(Man I Really) Love This Team" for his current hit and baseball playoff theme song "I Love This Town."

Joe No! Joe the Plumber Sues Ohio State Employees

It seems that our definition of celebrity is wildly flexible these days. Possibly as flexible as our definition of privacy. The world's most famous "plumber," "Joe the Plumber"  Joe Wurzelbacher is back, and this time it's personal. Joe has filed suit against three Ohio state employees for allegedly improperly accessing his personal information from state databases.

Winnie the Pooh and Disney in Court over Royalties

The family of the late Stephen Slesinger is suing Disney for allegedly not paying royalties that are due to them from the wildly popular Winnie the Pooh collection.

Stephen Slesinger is the man who made Winnie the Pooh recognizable and loved by many. He made a licensing deal with Winnie the Pooh creator AA Milne back in 1931. When he signed that deal, he developed products and even created Winnie the Pooh's trademark red shirt and no pants look.

Mr. Slesinger then in turn licensed his rights to the popular character over to Disney in 1961. Disney then developed all of the movies, television programs, and other merchandise that centers around the loveable, bumbling bear.

Right to Privacy for Criminals on Wikipedia?

Wikipedia's charitable donor has been sued by two German men. They claim that the online encyclopedia's description of their involvement in the murder of a German actor back in 1990 violates their right to privacy.

This case is crucial because it covers so many different aspects of law, from freedom of speech to privacy with regards to criminal law. In fact, in Germany there are rules against mentioning crimes after a certain amount of time has passed.

The two men, Wolfgang Werlé and Manfred Lauber have managed to be successful in removing mention of their crime in German media and information outlets, but are now attempting to do the same with an American outlet.

"Aha moment": Oprah and Insurance Company Settle Trademark Dispute

Looks like their "aha moment" has finally arrived.

Mutual of Omaha insurance company and Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Productions have settled a trademark dispute over the popular phrase, according to the Associated Press.

"Lawyer of Love" Corri Fetman and Playboy Lock Legal Horns

A new pillow fight has broken out in the Mansion, but it looks like Hugh Hefner is not going to like it one little bit. Playboy Enterprises filed suit this past Monday against Chicago divorce attorney Corri Fetman over who owns trademark rights to the title "Lawyer of Love."  Playboy's suit follows a sexual harassment suit which Fetman, a former Playboy model and columnist, filed in March.

Jon Gosselin Plans to File Countersuit against TLC

It seems that TLC has feisty one on their hands! Jon Gosselin isn't willing to go down without a fight over their breach of contract lawsuit. According to NY Daily News, Jon Gosselin plans file a countersuit against the network for a cool $5 million dollars.

The grounds for Jon Gosselin's countersuit are that he feels that TLC took advantage of him when he signed the contract with the network since he was not adequately represented at the time.

We wrote about TLC's warning against Jon Gosselin here. Initially, TLC informed Gosselin that he was violating the morals clause of the his contract with TLC through his affairs, erratic behavior, and possible mismanagement of family finances.

The Michael Jackson Will: Father Gets No Inheritance

Hands off.

Michael Jackson's father will not inherit any of his son's assets.

Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff said Joe Jackson was not named in the Michael Jackson will and cannot challenge the hand picked executors.

"Joe Jackson takes none of this estate. This is a decision his son made," the judge said.

Justin Timberlake Stalker Karen McNeil Gets Served

Justin Timberlake's stalker gets served... with a restraining order that lasts three years.

After some court drama, Justin Timberlake was finally granted his wish of a restraining order against his stalker Karen McNeil.

The drama started over the fact that Justin Timberlake did not appear in court in order to request the restraining order against the crazed fan as reported by The Examiner. He was granted a temporary restraining order last month against the woman.

Joe Francis Tax Case: Girls Gone Wild Founder Gets Plea Deal

Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis was sentenced to 301 days already served and a year of probation for filing false income tax returns.

The Los Angeles Times reports that a judge accepted a plea deal between the soft porn mogul and prosecutors, who struck the agreement after learning on the eve of trial that a key witness had withheld information from them.

Janine Lindemulder v Jesse James Custody Battle, Starring Sandra Bullock

Actress Sandra Bullock's husband Jesse James is fuming over his ex wife Janine Lindemulder's interview on Good Morning America.

Jesse James (who stars on the show Monster Garage) wanted to let everyone know that porn star Janine Lindemulder's comments about his wife were simply not true. Lindemulder claimed that Bullock was trying to take away her daughter.

People Magazine quotes Jesse Jammes' attorney Marilyn Slifman as saying that her remarks were "inaccurate and unfortunate."

His attorney continues by saying: "Sandra Bullock is not a party to this litigation."

While James and Bullock have portrayed her as an unfit mother, Lindemulder went on Good Morning America this week and said that she was a good mother to her daughter Sunny. She also said that she wanted to talk to the actress as "two women" in order to resolve the custody battle.

Levi Johnston May Sue Palin Family for Joint Custody of Tripp

Levi Johnston, the man who fathered former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's first grandchild is planning to seek joint custody.

According to People Magazine, Levi Johnston, 19 claims that Sarah Palin and the rest of the family are making it difficult for him to see his 10 month old son Tripp.

He told Insider: "It's not working. I'm done. It's going to have to go to court. They just finally pushed me over the edge."

This news certainly does not come as a surprise since Levi Johnston is not a favorite of the Palin household. He recently told People Magazine about how Sarah Palin was a money hungry politician who did not care about her state.

Lindsay v Michael Lohan: Defamation of a Troubled Star?

Ohhh parents, lies and audiotape....The Lohan family drama continues with Lindsay Lohan's father claiming that God is punishing his daughter for her sins.

It all started with the social media wonder site Twitter. Lindsay Lohan tweeted how her father was abusive and horrible to herself, her mother, and her siblings. She specifically tweeted how her father Michael Lohan would threaten to kill her mother Dina Lohan if she attempted to leave him.

Michael denies these claims directly to the New York Post: "That's a lie. I guess Lindsay is on more drugs than I thought to say something like that. Now I'm going to release more recordings that prove everything she is saying is nothing more than a bunch of lies."

J Lo Sues Ex Ojani Noa over Honeymoon Videos

A new film titled, ''How I Married Jennifer Lopez,'' may not be coming to a theater near you.

J. Lo is suing her ex-husband Ojani Noa to stop him from shopping around a movie. It allegedly includes video footage showing J. Lo in revealing lack of clothing, and in sexual situations, especially in the hotel room footage from ... [their] honeymoon."

Lopez filed papers against Noa who she was married to for less than a year back in 1997, claiming it violates terms of the couple's divorce agreement.

Today, a judge granted the singer's request for a temporary restraining order to stop distribution of initmate home video footage.

Kanye West's Paparazzi Fight Charges Dropped

Looks like Kanye West may have caught a break.

A court commissioner recently dismissed criminal charges against West and his road manager dating back to an altercation with paparazzi at the Los Angeles airport.

Misdemeanor charges were filed against the rapper, notorious for temper tantrums, and against his manager after they were arrested on Sept. 11, 2008 for a scuffle with two photographers.

West also made headlines earlier year for interrupting Taylor Swift's MTV Video Music Awards acceptance speech.