Celebrity Justice - The FindLaw Celebrities and The Law Blog

July 2010 Archives

Jersey Shore's Snooki Arrested for Disorderly Conduct

Snooki arrested? Yes, this time it was just a Snook too far. Nicole Polizzi, better known as Snooki, one of the breakout stars of the MTV reality show The Jersey Shore, was arrested for disorderly conduct this afternoon, July 30. Oh, how the mighty have fallen ... off their bikes at least. One report says Snooki could not even maintain her balance on a two-wheeler, which may have helped to catch the eye of the officers who did arrest her.

According to the New Jersey Star-Ledger, Snooki was arrested and taken into custody after becoming disruptive during the filming of an episode of The Shore. While "disruptive" and "filming Jersey Shore" may seem like synonyms, the police were sufficiently bothered by her interaction with an unsuspecting public to actually arrest her.

Clooney Girlfriend Elisabetta Canalis Caught in Cocaine Scandal

Elisabetta Canalis is all over the news these days, but this time it's not for dating her boyfriend of over a year, George Clooney. Rather, the 31 year-old Italian model and TV host has been implicated in a complicated Italian cocaine scandal involving two Milan nightclubs.

Caught in the middle of a prostitution and drug bust, one party to the case is quoted as saying, "I remember taking cocaine with Elisabetta Canalis and others," according to the New York Daily News. The allegations date back to 2008. Clearly, this case has less to do with Canalis and more to do with the sex and drugs authorities believe the nightclubs were offering to their VIP clientele in an effort to have their big spenders ring up high tabs.

Brittany Murphy, Simon Monjack Deaths Not Linked To Mold

Reports are being refuted that the deaths of actress Brittany Murphy and her husband, Simon Monjack, can be linked to mold. A coroner's office investigator in Los Angeles is dismissing online rumors that the deaths of the two from pneumonia were linked to mold in their Beverly Hills home. Brittany Murphy, 32, and Simon Monjack, 39, died only five months apart in the home they shared with the actress' mother, Sharon Murphy.

"There were no indicators that it was from mold," Los Angeles County Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said Monday, according to CNN. Murphy died first, officially of a combination of pneumonia, an iron deficiency and multiple drug intoxication, according the coroner's office. The drugs involved were legal, prescription drugs.

Brad and Angie Settle Tabloid Privacy Suit

Here's some important news, Brad and Angie are not splitting up. Not only is this important to Brangelina fans, but it also has legal implications. On July 22, the news came that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie had won their privacy suit against British tab News of the World over headlines that they were splitting. Rupert Murdoch's News of the World will run an apology and pay an undisclosed amount of money which will go to the Jolie-Pitt Foundation.

According to USMagazine, in January the News ran a story recounting the alleged split, detailing plans to divide up their assets and make custody arrangements for their many, many children. Now, it shockingly appears the whole story was false. Even the Los Angeles Times reports the story, saying that the divorce attorney that the couple was supposed to have consulted, never even met them. Well, well, well.

Kate Major Accuses Michael Lohan of Domestic Violence

The Lohan clan didn't have enough to do recently, what with the incarnation of their most famous member, Miss Lindsay. So for good measure, a domestic violence dispute has broken out between Michael Lohan Sr. and fiancée Kate Major. The alleged altercation between the two has resulted in a reported "Temporary Order of Protection" for Major, against Lohan.

According to The HollywoodGossip, a fight broke out between Lohan and Kate Major just before Michael Sr. was due to depart to see his daughter surrender for her jail sentence. During the argument, Lohan allegedly pushed Major over a chair, injuring her shoulder. Then, she was kicked in the face while on the floor, according to her report with the Southampton, N.Y., Town Police.

Warrant's Jani Lane Gets Jail Time for DUI

Don't do the crime if you can't do the time. It's harsh but generally good advice. If you want to stay out of jail, avoid doing things that are likely to land you there. Like driving drunk and running into parked cars when you're already on probation.

Warrant singer Jani Lane has been sentenced to 120 days in jail after his second DUI arrest in two years. He was arrested on May 9 in Woodland Hills in California. He was arrested after he rammed into a parked car and failed a breathalyzer test. That always makes for a tough day at the office and a very expensive visit to an attorney. Fortunately no one was seriously hurt or injured.

Lane, who famously sang "Cherry Pie," (Put a smile on your face ten miles wide...Looks so good bring a tear to your eye...Sweet cherry pie, yeah!) pleaded no contest to the charges. The judge ordered Lane to a 2 1/2 year alcohol education class and took away his driver's license for three years.

States are continuing to crack down on DUI offenders, especially repeat offenders. Many states have changed their DUI laws recently, increasing penalties on repeat offenders.

Lohan Off To Jail, Without An Attorney?

Annnndddd... scene. Believe it or not, actress Lindsay Lohan is finally headed to jail. After protracted legal wrangling over her probation violations stemming from 2007 DUI charges, La Lohan is finally headed to the big house. Or, make that the medium-sized Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood, California.

But Lindsay is not only facing her sentence of 90 days in jail and then an additional 90 days of rehab. She is also, per various sources, fresh out of legal representation. Reports say that veteran of the O.J. Simpson dream team, Robert Shapiro, quit Team Lindsay on the evening of July 19, right before she was due to surrender herself and begin her jail sentence on the following morning.

Cast of 'Jersey Shore' Goes on Strike?

All "situation" jokes aside, there is reportedly a unfortunate state of affairs brewing between the cast of "Jersey Shore," the break-out MTV reality show, and the show's producers. Like so many in the business, the issue is money and who is supposedly getting more and who is not getting what they were promised. Allegedly.

According to USAToday, the bulk of the cast, including JWoww, Ronnie, Sammi, Pauly D and Vinny is seemingly on strike, refusing to film until the contract issues are sorted out. Under the contracts supposedly only covering season 2, the cast was set to be paid $10,000 per episode. Reports from TMZ say the most of the group feels "tricked" because new filming is beginning under the same terms. Peeling off from the cast are "The Situation" Sorrentino and Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, who evidently plan to go ahead and film.

Model Kristen Kennis Sues Vampire Weekend Over Album Cover

A model used on the album cover of a Vampire Weekend record is suing the band for $2 million dollars. Kristen Kennis, who is also suing the photographer and the band's record company, XL Recordings, says she never authorized the indie band to use her photo on the cover of "Contra," their latest release. The cover features Kennis wearing a yellow Polo shirt which was originally taken when she was modeling in New York in 1983. The album was released in January and made it to #1 on the Billboard album chart.

The band claims to have a signed model release form. The photo was originally taken by photographer Tod Brody. However, Kennis contends that the signed release is a forgery. TMZ reports that Kennis -- whose image was used as part of an extensive promotional teaser campaign to herald the launch of the album -- filed the lawsuit on Wednesday, July 14, in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Paris Hilton Detained in Corsica for Marijuana Possession

Some of us just don't learn a lesson the first 143 times around. Such are the likes of everyone's favorite heiress, Paris Hilton, who was reportedly detained after flying in to the island of Corsica on a vacation from her demanding work life. According to various reports, officers at the airport in Figari found about one gram's worth of marijuana in her posession. She was allegedly detained and released.

According to a report by the AP citing French newspapers, when Paris headed to the French Mediterranean island via a private jet last Friday, July 16, the tourista was carrying a very small amount of ganja in her handbag. Paris was brought in for questioning and released about 30 minutes later.

Porn Stars Amanda Logue, Jason Andrews Indicted for Murder

The case of the murdering porn stars is a modern day, twisted morality tale, overflowing with bad guys, and with even the victim caught in the mire. Variously described as a lingerie shop owner, a model, a porn star and a prostitute, murder suspect Amanda Logue and her gay-porn star-DJ-boyfriend, Jason Andrews, are behind bars and awaiting trial. The couple is charged in the bludgeoning and stabbing death of tattoo artist Dennis "Scooter" Abrahamsen.

The report by the Associated Press in the Macon Telegraph reveals a story that reads like a thrill killing - with sex, porn and theft mixed in for good measure. The married Logue hooked up with dream-boy Andrews on the set of a porn video late last year and fell in love. At some point thereafter, they allegedly concocted the plan to kill Abrahamsen.

"I'm so glad you're really committed to this take. Keep eyes for a knife, etc for me!" Andrews texted Logue shortly before the slaying. Allegedly hired to work at a sex party at Abrahamsen's house, Logue had an entry. The AP reports Florida police say the pair killed Abrahamsen in the early morning of May 15, and for good measure swiped $6,000 cash, his credit cards and a video camera.

Guilty Verdict in John Stamos Extortion Trial

Quicker than you can say "Full House," the jury in the John Stamos extortion trial returned their verdict: guilty. After four hours of deliberation, the jury found defendants Allison Coss, 24, and Scott Sippola, 31, guilty of conspiracy and using email to threaten a person's reputation. The trial took only four days.

According to E!Online, Coss and Sippola were accused of sending emails to Stamos, one under the name of "Jessica T" saying that she was pregnant with his child and then others threatening to reveal pictures of Stamos with strippers and cocaine to the tabloid press. Those pictures were supposed to have come from about the time Stamos and Coss met and Coss alleges, when Stamos tried to initiate a sexual relationship with her. She was a minor at the time.

Chevron Battles Documentary Filmmaker Over Footage

Attorneys argued before a federal appeals court in Manhattan this week regarding a film about Chevron made by documentary filmmaker Joe Berlinger. Chevron Corporation has requested unused documentary footage that Berlinger filmed about a 1993 class action lawsuit by the people of Ecuador over pollution in the Amazon. In May a judge ordered Berlinger, to turn over 600 hours of outtakes from his documentary "Crude."

Berlinger and his attorneys are fighting the request, on the grounds that he is protected by "journalists privilege," or the right to refuse to divulge information obtained in a confidential relationship. 49 states and the District of Columbia offer some form of shield law protections, although they vary by state and are not absolute. There is no federal shield law. Attempting to use the shield laws when you are involved in a plaintiff's class-action lawsuit is problematic. There is an applicable legal maxim that says that a shield is not a sword.

Chevron's lawyers have argued that the disputed footage is "urgently needed evidence" for their defense. The judges have favored Chevron's arguments up to this point, though there is some indication that they may limit the amount of footage Berlinger has to turn over, or appoint a special master to review the footage.

New Questions About Legality of 'Kate Plus 8' Work Permits

The six stars of the TLC program "Kate Plus 8" could lose their spot on the reality television series.

A Pennsylvania state lawmaker is questioning the legality of work permits issued to Kate Gosselin's sextuplets for the reality show, the Associated Press reports.

Under Pennsylvania law, children under 7 can work in movies, but not television. Rep. Thomas Murt sent a letter to the state attorney general and labor secretary asking for clarification.

The Mel Gibson Tapes: Admissible in Court?

In case the public doubted Mel Gibson's capacity for ranting and raging, it appears that doubts will now be laid to rest. Entertainment websites and hard news sites as well are carrying audio excerpts from what all report to be another nasty, vicious Mel Gibson rant, this time against former girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva.

An audience for the hateful rants could put a dent in Gibson's career but it won't put him in jail. The only audience that would have that power would be a jury in a domestic violence case. Accusations have been brought by Grigorieva, but no further news on a formal criminal charge or trial has emerged, as the investigation into the accusations is still on-going.

Allison Coss - John Stamos Extortion Trial Underway

In an extortion trial, the allegations are virtually guaranteed to be ugly, but the ugly in the Alison Coss v. John Stamos trial has a wide reach. The trial, getting underway this week, pits allegations that Coss and fellow defendant, Scott Sippola, tried to extort $680,000 from Stamos by threatening to sell pictures of him with strippers and cocaine to the tabloids. Coss, on her side, implicates Stamos in an (or an attempted) sexual relationship with her in 2004 when she was a high school student and underage.

According to the report by People, Stamos's attorney has said the allegations made by Coss will be proven to be "simply untrue." According to Stamos's camp, the actor did meet Allison Coss in '04 and exchanged emails, but no inappropriate relationship occurred. Then, last fall, Stamos contacted the FBI after receiving two emails - one from a "Jessica T" claiming she was pregnant with Stamos's child, and one from a "Brian L" threatening to sell allegedly compromising photos to the tabloids.

Jennifer Lopez Faces $40M Lawsuit for Canceling Concert

Jennifer Lopez may be facing a $40 million dollar lawsuit after canceling a show at Cratos Premium hotel and casino in Cyprus.

J.Lo withdrew from a scheduled concert after deciding it could have been construed as a political statement. She was scheduled to perform at an event that Greek Cypriots have said would further polarize the already divided country, the New York Times reports.

Cold Comfort: Polanski Extradition Denied

He's rich! Do you understand? He thinks he can get away with anything.

Jake Gittes, the character played by Jack Nicholson in one of Roman Polanski's best known films, "Chinatown," said that line. If it applies, or does not apply, to today's news in the more than 30 year-old Polanski case, is up to the individual to decide. However, what is fact is the July 12 report of the Swiss authorities' decision that they will not extradite Roman Polanski to the United States. Polanski fled the U.S. after pleading guilty to having sex with a 13 year-old girl back in 1977.

Mel Gibson Facing Felony Assault Charges?

A statement by the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department was released on July 8 announcing they had begun an investigation of the domestic violence charges made by Oksana Grigorieva, ex-girlfriend of actor Mel Gibson. Alleged to have taken place January 6 of this year, Grigorieva has made claims that Gibson punched her in the face "more than once", knocking out a veneer, causing a concussion and a broken tooth.

In reply to the allegations of the attack, Gibson claims he was trying to prevent Grigorieva from shaking their daughter, 8 month-old Lucia, according to FOXNews. A report on the investigation's findings will be turned over to the District Attorney when complete. Authorities think it will take about a month to finish the investigation.

Leicester Bryce Stovell Sues LeBron James, Claims Paternity

Who is the father of King James?

LeBron James and his mother Gloria James have been sued by Leicester Bryce Stovell who claims that he is LeBron James' father. Stovell, who is an attorney, is proceeding pro se against LeBron and Gloria. Stovell argues that he has tried to prove paternity but that Gloria and LeBron tampered with evidence and covered it up.

In the background section of the complaint obtained by TMZ, Leicester Bryce Stovell sets out his take on the case: "During the past couple of years I have concluded that I have a reasonable basis for believing that I likely am the father of Defendant LeBron James, notwithstanding long-term actions of the Defendants aimed at preventing me and other from becoming aware of it."

Stovell goes on to describe a sexual encounter with Gloria James in 1984. Stovell states that several months after the encounter, James visited him and told him that she was pregnant and was going to name the baby LeBron. Stovell says he told Gloria, "Well, if he's mine, make sure he plays basketball," and that was the last time he saw her for over 20 years.

Don Johnson Wins $23M in 'Nash Bridges' Lawsuit

Don Johnson scored a major victory yesterday, not on the screen, but in a Los Angeles courtroom. The actor and musician won $23.2 million in profits from the producers of the 1990's television show "Nash Bridges." The jury agreed with Johnson's argument that he owned half of the series and found that they had failed to pay him his share of the profits. The three defendants, Rysher, a production company, chief among them, unsuccessfully argued that the show had yet to make a profit.

According to questioning and testimony at trial, the $23 million is coming at an excellent time, as Johnson may have been in financial trouble prior to the victory. Johnson, 60, testified that after becoming a star on "Miami Vice," as Sonny Crockett, he negotiated a highly favorable contract on "Nash Bridges" where he retained half of the copyright to the show. "I wanted to own the copyright ... the copyright protected me and my rights as an artist. And my economic upside," Johnson said.

Bart Williams, attorney for the production company, Rysher, argued that because of the high paid actors, stunts, car chases, extras and San Francisco location, the show was extremely expensive and may never make a profit.

Criminal Charges Stand Against Anna Nicole Smith Doctor

After the 2007 death of Anna Nicole Smith, Dr. Sandeep Kapoor came under investigation for prescriptions that he wrote for the actress. Dr. Kapoor was eventually arrested in 2009 for illegally providing prescription drugs to an addict. Smith's autopsy concluded that she died of an accidental overdose. Nine medications were found in her system after she overdosed at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino near Hollywood, Florida.

In addition, Dr. Khristine Eroshevich and Smith's lawyer/lover Howard K. Stern were charged with providing sedatives and opiates to Smith; they are not charged with causing her death. According to the prosecution, the three made a conscious effort to provide Anna Nicole Smith with drugs that ultimately led to her death.

On Tuesday Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Wesley rejected a motion by Kapoor to have the drug conspiracy charged dropped, as well as a charge of obtaining a prescription drug under a false name. Even if the two counts had been dropped, four others would remain against the doctor.

Actress Lindsay Lohan Gets 90 Days for Probation Violation

The long arm of the law finally, finally reached out and gave actress Lindsay Lohan a little slap. On Tuesday, July 6, Lindsay Lohan was sentenced to 90 days in jail and ordered to spend another three months in rehab for missing her weekly alcohol education classes in violation of her probation.

According to the Los Angeles Times Blogs, a weeping Lindsay Lohan heard the sentence from the long patient Judge Marsha Revel. Lohan tried to tell the court she had been confused by the instructions surrounding her probation and believed herself to be in compliance with the judge's orders. She claimed the alcohol education program gave her permission to skip and reschedule appointments. "I'm not taking this as a joke, it's my life, and it's my career ... I've learned from my experiences, I take responsibility for my actions," Lohan told the court.

Titans QB Chris Simms Arrested for Driving While Impaired

A backup quarterback for the Tennessee Titans, Chris Simms, was arrested and accused of operating a vehicle under the influence of marijuana.

Chris Simms, a son of former New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms, says that the police misconstrued his comments when he was pulled over. Originally, he confessed to cops that he smoked a joint inside his 2009 Mercedes-Benz earlier in the night, but now he says he was just talking about cigarettes, the Associated Press reports.

Paris Hilton Arrested at the World Cup

Paris Hilton loves the World Cup and it appears the World Cup loves her back. After a brief interaction with law enforcement and an appearance before the special World Cup Court, all is once again très bon with Paris.

According to the Associated Press, Paris the heiress was detained by officers outside the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium, after witnessing the Netherlands' surprising upset over the usually favored Brazilians at the World Cup quarter-final match. So much FIFA news, so little time. Once again returning to the legal issues at hand, Ms. Hilton was detained on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance. Or as a local policeman explained, "She was found in possession of some amount of dagga," Dagga is the local name for marijuana. "We don't know how much. It's a high profile person, only the top cops are dealing with it," the officer said.

Lindsay Lohan Sued for Fraud by Boutique

Lindsay Lohan may be sinking deeper into legal problems as the actress is accused of scamming more than $16,000 of clothes from a Los Angeles boutique.

Apparently, Lindsay Lohan promised the boutique owners that her business manager would foot the bill, CBS news reports. The boutique is now suing Lohan for fraud, claiming she never paid in full for clothing, jewelry and other accessories.

Possible Felony for 'Ferris Bueller' Actor Jeffrey Jones

Actor Jeffery Jones, best known for his role as Principal Rooney in 1986 movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off, has been charged with a felony failing to update his sex offender status.

Jeffery Jones was arrested recently after he failed to renew his sex offender registration with the state within five days of his last birthday, Sept. 28, 2009, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The 63-year-old actor was ordered to register as a sex offender and undergo counseling in 2003 when he was placed on five years' probation after pleading no contest to inducing a 14-year-old boy to pose for sexually explicit photographs.