Celebrity Justice - The FindLaw Celebrities and The Law Blog

December 2010 Archives

Kelsey Grammer Divorce: May Pay $50M to Ex, Engaged for 4th Time

The Kelsey Grammer divorce may be getting messy. To the tune of $50 million. That is the amount that actor Kelsey Grammer may be paying his ex-wife and reality television star Camille Grammer. The couple, married for 13 years, will be divorcing in California (a community property state) without a prenuptial agreement. The $50 million represents half of the $100 million the couple amassed during their marriage, according to The Los Angeles Times.

The latest Kelsey Grammer divorce news is that the former Frazier" star offered Camille Grammer $30 million. And she turned it down.

The bulk of the sizeable fortune the couple has amassed is from various successful real estate ventures as well as royalties from Kelsey Grammer's acting stints.

Brett Favre Fined $50K for Sexting Jenn Sterger, NFL Does Not Suspend

There looks to be a resolution to the Brett Favre/Jen Sterger texts that have received as much screen time as the veteran quarterback has this season. When we last looked at the sexting scandal, Jen Sterger was demanding that the NFL suspend Favre or she would seek legal action against the football league.

Let the lawsuit commence. The NFL has decided to fine Favre $50,000 for failing to cooperate with the investigation but the quarterback will not be suspended as Sterger demanded. 

The racy photographs and sexts were sent while Favre was a quarterback for the Jets in 2008. The NFL investigation, which ultimately concluded that he did not violate workplace policies, included analysis of reports, reviews of interviews with Sterger and Favre and independent forensic analysis of electronically stored material, according to The New York Times.

'Teen Mom' Amber Portwood Arrested for MTV Domestic Violence

"Teen Mom" "start" Amber Portwood was arrested on charges of battery for attacking her ex-boyfriend on screen. Apparently when you give teenage pregnant girls reality shows and lots of money and attention, they act out. Who knew?

Amber Portwood is now facing three counts of battery in addition to one count of neglect in Indiana, The Herald Bulletin reports. Portwood surrendered to Indiana police on domestic abuse charges, TMZ.com reports.

Stephen Baldwin Sues Kevin Costner: 'Robbed' Me Over BP Oil Spill

Actor Stephen Baldwin sues Kevin Costner. That is the latest headline coming out of Hollywood - and somehow none of us are all too surprised. The suit would not be that strange except that it is related to the BP oil spill, of all things.

Alleging securities fraud and misrepresentation, Baldwin in claiming $3.8 million in damages. Baldwin claims that Costner duped him into selling shares (10% in total) into a company that build machines to be used to help clean up the spill. Interestingly enough, the machine was developed when Costner starred in "Waterworld" and was supposed to separate water and oil.

Wesley Snipes' Appeal: Can he Get his Case to U.S. Supreme Court?

Does Wesley Snipes really have a shot at getting his tax evasion conviction before the U.S. Supreme Court? It's not an easy path to argue before the Justices at the High Court, after all.

A quick recap: Wesley Snipes was convicted of tax evasion and other crimes in November 2008. He has been appealing the conviction ever since and was recently began serving his time. Snipes was initially denied his request for a new trial based on arguments that his conviction rested on a prejudiced jury. Snipes was also denied his request to remain out of prison on bail while he appealed the conviction.

Although it may seem like the end of the road for the 48-year-old actor, he is hoping to take his case to the top. And by top he means the U.S. Supreme Court. Snipes has served just over a week of his three year sentence and at this point his legal team has filed a new appeal asking for his denied bail to be reversed in order to take his case to the Supreme Court, according to Gather.

New Warrant Issued for Randy Quaid's Wife

To the surprise of absolutely nobody (including the judge) Randy Quaid's wife Evi has missed yet another court date in Santa Barbara, California. The fugitive couple has missed numerous court appearances and are currently seeking refugee status in Canada.

In addition to a new $100,000 arrest warrant, the 47-year-old Evi Quaid will need to also find herself new legal counsel. At the hearing attended only by her attorney, he successfully withdrew from the case. Evi Quaid's failure to appear on defrauding an innkeeper charges. Evi Quaid noted that she did not want to leave her husband's side in Canada to come deal with the California case, according to the Associated Press.

Will Lindsay Lohan be Arrested for Attack on Betty Ford Employee?

Two consecutive DUI arrests landed Lindsay Lohan into a slew of legal and financial trouble. A trip to the Betty Ford clinic was ordered to help end the starlet's addiction issues. Apparently she is also a fighter.

The Lindsay Lohan attack that has now placed Lohan at the center of a misdemeanor battery investigation is said to have occurred as a result of a broken curfew.

After returning to the clinic ten minutes after curfew, Lohan and friends were greeted by a female staffer that Lohan claims wanted to drug test the actress and ultimately placed her hands on her, The Los Angeles Times reports.

'Melrose Place's' Amy Locane Charged with Aggravated Manslaughter

Former "Melrose Place" actress Amy Locane is creating a plot line much steamier than anything that came out of the 90's drama she appeared on. The 39-year-old Locane has been charged with aggravated manslaughter relating to a fatal car crash that took place in New Jersey.

At the scene of the crash, which left Helen Seeman dead and her husband Fred in critical condition, officers smelled alcohol and noticed her eyes were blurred and her speech impaired. Their driving under the influence suspicions were confirmed after arresting Locane and testing her blood alcohol level at the local jail. The deadly crash occurred just minutes after Amy Locane was involved in a hit and run collision in her Chevrolet Tahoe. The aggravated manslaughter charge is related to the deadly second accident Locane's wine-fueled drive ended in.

Mel Gibson to Lose Daughter to Oksana Grigorieva?

Certainly one of the most talked about non-couple of the year is Mel Gibson and his former flame and baby mother Oksana Grigorieva. The couple had daughter Lucia shortly before their very dramatic split and it has been a war of words, texts and public interviews ever since.

So will Mel Gibson lose his daughter? If Oksana Grigorieva has her way he will. Looking to limit Gibson's contact with Lucia to monitored visitation, the Russian singer will certainly be using all of the public disputes the couple has had as fodder for her cause.

Not to be outdone, Gibson is asking for any and all visitation rights of Grigorieva to be stripped, characterizing her as unstable and potentially harmful to Lucia, according to the omnipresent gossip site TMZ.

'Men in Black' Star Rip Torn Pleads Guilty in Drunk Bank Break In

Rip Torn, the 79-year-old actor most famous for his role in the “Men in Black” movies and “The Larry Sanders Show,” is making a name for himself in the legal field as well. Unfortunately this time Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith will not be able to save him.

The actor was arrested inside a Connecticut bank he drunkenly broke into thinking it was his own home. Torn was drunk and carrying a loaded gun at the time of the arrest.

On his recent day in court, the actor pleaded guilty to a laundry list of charges including: reckless endangerment, criminal trespass, criminal mischief and illegally carrying a firearm. Luckily for the aging actor, he will not be serving any jail time for his offenses. Instead, Rip Torn was given alternative forms of sentencing which will hopefully serve to rehabilitate Torn, who has a history of alcohol-related problems with the law.

Ryan Reynolds Divorce From Scarlett Johansson Announced

Tis the season for Hollywood divorces. After only two years of marriage 26-year-old actress Scarlett Johansson and 34-year-old actor Ryan Reynolds have announced their divorce. The couple wed in a secret ceremony in Canada in 2008 and the reasons for their split seem to be a little less secret.

The divorce is not as abrupt as it may appear. Reuters reports that the couple has actually been separated for close to six months before making the announcement that surprised many. Busy filming schedules and extended periods of time apart are to blame for the breakup.

Survivor Winner Richard Hatch Going Back to Prison?

Sure he can win the physically and mentally grueling challenge that is Survivor but he can't seem to navigate his way around the law. Richard Hatch, winner of season 1 of Survivor spent three and a half years behind bars for his very famous tax evasion case following his $1 million Survivor payday.

Apparently that was not enough time to read over the terms of his probation. The 49-year-old Hatch's probation was fairly straightforward: hold down a job, stay in Rhode Island, complete a mental health program, adhere to a privacy agreement, and re-file the 2000-2001 tax returns that he so conveniently forgot the first time around, according to E! Online.

Rapper Ja Rule to Get 2 Years in Prison on Gun Charge

"This isn't a good day fellas." Those were the words of rapper Ja Rule as he left a Manhattan court house after being sentenced to two years in prison on gun charges. The 34-year-old rapper (real name: Jeffrey Atkins) was caught with a loaded gun in his car after leaving a Lil' Wayne concert in 2007.

The arrest, which came the same night as Lil Wayne's gun possession charge in a separate incident, was the result of a routine traffic stop for speeding.

After smelling marijuana in the car, the cops also discovered a loaded .40-caliber semiautomatic gun was sitting in the driver's side door. Two years in prison followed by probation was the plea agreement Ja Rule accepted just a week before he was scheduled to go to trial. The Ja Rule plea bargain seems to be a wise choice as he could have been sentenced to up to fifteen years in prison if convicted by a jury.

Demi Lovato Sued? Punched Dancer Wants to Get Paid

Show me the money! The words made famous by Cuba Gooding Jr. in "Jerry Maguire" ring true yet again in Hollywood, as Disney darling Demi Lovato may be having to show some money to backup dancer Alex Welch. The rehabbing young diva allegedly punched the dancer just days before checking herself into treatment.

The incident, which happened while Lovato was on tour with The Jonas Brothers, gave Welch a black eye. The dancer is now said to be suffering "lasting emotional damage" in addition to having to consult with a cosmetic surgeon. It is rumored that the scuffle began after Lovato thought Welch was telling tour management about her drinking and other bad-girl behavior.

Christina Aguilera Racy Photos: Did Hacker Really Leak Them?

It happens to the best of them. Racy photos, sex tapes and scandals. Celebrities' sex tapes and racy personal pictures going public often garner more press than any movie or hit song. It just goes with the territory.

The most recent celebrity to find her image go viral: Christina Aguilera. Thought to be the work of a hacker (or perhaps her estranged husband), the Christina Aguilera racy photos are all over the internet and she is none too happy about it. Some celebrity gossip sites have even speculated Aguilera herself leaked them to generate some buzz.

The collection of photographs were exchanged between Aguilera and her stylist and appear to have somehow made it into the hands of third party.

Ronni Chasen Killing: Botched Robbery was Random Act of Violence

The dark movie that was the story of Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen's death is coming to an end.

Police now believe ex-con Harold Martin Smith, who shot himself when police approached him in the lobby of his apartment building last week, was indeed Chasen's killer. Far from being a complex scheme or a professional hit as some had speculated, the killing is now said to have been a robbery gone wrong.

Simple as that. Sad as that.

Although police are now convinced that Smith acted alone in what they believe was a robbery, questions remain, reports The Los Angeles Times. The preliminary ballistics tests from Smith's gun do indicate it was the same weapon used to fire several bullets into Chasen's head and chest as she drove home from a movie premiere party on November 16.

Howard Stern Contract with Sirius XM Radio Extended 5 Years

It turns out that Howard Stern isn't going anywhere. After ongoing threats to leave Sirius XM, the so called "shock jock" has signed a new contract.

The Howard Stern contract is for a term of five years, though the parties didn't detail the financial terms of the agreement. Under the new deal, Sirius XM can transmit Howard Stern's program on mobile devices. The previous Howard Stern contract was worth $500 million dollars.

Based on previous comments by Stern (and the financial hardship of his employer), it seems unlikely that Stern took a pay cut:

"I am not taking a f--ing pay-cut," Stern said. "Why would I have to take a pay-cut? ... Who is this guy to say this in public? ... I know what I have done in this company. I am more important than Oprah, in this company anyway."

'Baywatch' Beauty Donna D'Errico Singled Out for TSA Body Scan?

Cute blonde profiling?

That is essentially the claim of former Baywatch beauty Donna D'Errico. As if we mere mortals don't have enough problems with the new TSA body scan and intimate pat-downs, the TV actress is claiming that TSA screeners at the Los Angeles International Airport singled her out for a full body scan because they thought she was pretty.

D'Errico was on her way to Pittsburgh on a family emergency with her 17-year-old son when she was pulled out of the security line for an extra search, reports AoLNews. D'Errico claims that she was not given the normal choice of a TSA body scan or a pat-down, but just put right into the scan. When she asked the agent why he had singled her out, he reportedly said, "'Because you caught my eye, and they' -- pointing to the other passengers -- 'didn't.'"

Leonardo DiCaprio's Attacker Gets 2 Years in Jail

Two years in state prison. That was the sentence handed down to actor Leonardo DiCaprio's attacker, Aretha Wilson, following her trial earlier this week. Wilson was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon after she attacked the star at a Hollywood party with a piece of glass, an encounter that required surgery on his famous face and neck to repair the damage.

The 40-year-old Wilson was extradited from Canada back to the United States to stand trial before a Los Angeles judge. DiCaprio was not at the sentencing, according to CBS.

Porn Co. Vivid Not Afraid of Being Punk'd by Ashton Kutcher

If any law professors are looking for an entertaining way to explain the law of right of publicity to their students, have we got an idea for them. Movie actor Ashton Kutcher has sent a cease and desist letter to the always well-behaved porn company, Vivid Entertainment, to attempt to stop them from using his name to sell a sex tape. Unlike many other celebrity sex tape scandals, this one has a nice bright line:

Kutcher isn't even in the video.

Tabloid reports have gone on for ages now alleging an affair between Kutcher and someone called Brittney Jones. No stretch is too great for good marketing, so according to E!Online, Vivid is selling a "very explicit, uninhibited" sex tape featuring Miss Jones and an ex-boyfriend. Here is the reach for the connection: "Ashton's fans will undoubtedly enjoy seeing what the star himself may have experienced, in this exclusive video." 

It's like hearsay evidence, but with sex.

Willie Nelson to Avoid Jail with Misdemeanor Pot Charge

"I think people need to be educated to the fact that marijuana is not a drug. It is an herb and a flower." -- Willie Nelson.

Country music legend Willie Nelson has been an advocate for the legalization of marijuana long before he began getting arrested for possession of the drug. His latest arrest, at the ripe old age of 77, was originally supposed to land the country music legend in a Texas jail.

Luckily for Nelson, he wasn't packing as much of the "flower" as originally thought. Thus, he will avoid jail time with the classification of his pot charge as a misdemeanor and not a felony. If convicted, Nelson will only have to pay fines stemming from his possession.

Uma Thurman's Stalker Arrested While Google Searching Her Name

Uma Thurman's stalker, Jack Jordan, first made headlines in 2008 when the award-winning actress was granted a restraining order against the overzealous fan. Jordan sent her dark images, showed up at her work and apartment, and made other attempts at personal contact. Thurman was granted a five-year no contact order, which Jordan recently violated.

When officers went to serve the arrest warrant in Maryland, they were led to a room where Jordan was sitting in front of a computer with Thurman's name in a Google search box, Montgomery County, Md. police spokeswoman Lucille Baur told CBS News.

Jordan's obsession with the actress stemmed from an unlikely source: her father, Robert Thurman. Thurman is a Buddhist scholar at the University of Chicago. Jordan earned an English degree from the school. In 2005, Jordan was temporarily committed to mental facility based on the obsession.

Former Voice of 'Dora the Explorer' Settles Nickelodeon Lawsuit

Former voice of "Dora the Explorer," Caitlin Sanchez, settles her Nickelodeon lawsuit. Now here's a quick recap of what exactly she was settling in the first place: Sanchez served as the voice of the hit cartoon character since 2007. She sued Nickelodeon alleging that the company took advantage of her and ultimately cheated her out of millions of dollars. Sanchez reached puberty far before her cartoon likeness did, signifying the end of her time with the cartoon show.

The crux of the original "Dora the Explorer" lawsuit was that she was owed a large amount for "Dora the Explorer" reruns and the many promotional events she attended throughout the years. The young actress also claimed that she (by way of her mother) only had 22 minutes to read the jargon-filled terms of her contract with the company.

Wesley Snipes Must Report to Prison on Tax Evasion Sentence

Wesley Snipes is reporting to prison and it is not for a new movie role. The actor was ordered to voluntarily surrender to a medium security federal prison in Pennsylvania to begin his three year sentence on tax evasion.

The 48-year-old Snipes was convicted in 2008 of willful failure to file income tax returns. At his trial, the prosecution argued that the star had earned $38 million since 1999 but had failed to file tax returns or pay taxes during the decade.

Suspect in Publicist Ronni Chasen Murder Kills Self as Cops Close In

We recently reported on the noir-ish and shocking murder of Hollywood heavyweight PR woman Ronni Chasen. Today, the story takes another twist worthy of the darkest thriller.

The man wanted in connection for the murder killed himself as police confronted him. Ronni Chasen was shot in her car while driving home from a party to celebrate the opening of the movie Burlesque. She was 64.

The police were attempting to serve a search warrant at the suspect's home, reports The Los Angeles Times. Police would not identify the man, nor say what exactly his connection to the Chasen murder was. They did, however, have enough probable cause to convince a judge that a search warrant was necessary. As they attempted to speak to the man at the Harvey Apartments in Hollywood, he pulled out a gun and shot himself, Los Angeles police captain Kevin McClure said at a Dec. 1 press conference.

Paris Hilton Files Hair Extensions Countersuit

For every lawsuit there typically is a countersuit. At least when Paris Hilton is involved.

The latest headline from the heiress: Paris Hilton Files Hair Extension Countersuit. Yes, the suit that accused Miss. Hilton of wearing the wrong hair extensions and seeking $35 million in damages is now getting a response from Paris's legal team on the hairy situation.

In addition to the whole wrong hair extension issue, Hairtech International sued Paris for breach of contract and failing to appear at important promotional events. To her credit, Paris was in jail at the time. Paris' countersuit alleges fraud, breach of contract, and inappropriately trading in on the famous Hilton name.

Fox Wants $12M for Aspiring Screenwriter's Posting Scripts Online

Knowing the ending to your favorite television show or movie is a major buzz kill. Twentieth Century Fox Studios apparently thinks it is a $12 million spoiler alert.

In a recent screenplay copyright infringement lawsuit filed by the movie studio giant, the company is seeking redress from aspiring screenwriter Patricia McIlvaine. Fox claims she posted hundreds of movie scripts online. Without permission or payment, of course.

Many of the scripts posted by McIlvaine on her website were not only unauthorized but also not released yet. Included in the list of offending scripts: Aliens, Wall Street, and episodes of Glee. McIlvaine created a collection of scripts from various public sources to compile a "free" online library to help other screenwriters.

Actress Lindsay Lohan Wants Restraining Order Against Paparazzi

Celebrities and paparazzi define a love-hate relationship. Rising stars get famous when their picture is plastered all over the latest magazines, but once a certain level of notoriety is reached, the celebrity will do anything to avoid the camera. Always one to provide us with some much-needed legal fodder, actress Lindsay Lohan epitomizes this tumultuous relationship.

The fresh out of rehab starlet is seeking a restraining order against the paparazzi after being denied driving privileges, according to gossip website TMZ. The actress was given a green light to get back behind the wheel by the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Los Angeles County Probation Department, but Betty Ford put the brakes on the privilege.

Specifically, the rehabilitation clinic determined that, "it was too much of a safety risk to put Lindsay behind the wheel, because the paparazzi were creating an unsafe driving situation." Lindsay is hoping that a restraining order will get her on the road again. On the road to where exactly is an entirely separate inquiry.