Celebrity Justice - The FindLaw Celebrities and The Law Blog

March 2012 Archives

Keith Olbermann Fired, Lawsuit Expected to Follow

Oh no! Current TV fired Keith Olbermann!

This is a tragedy for the few who know about Current TV, a joint venture between former Vice President Al Gore and entrepreneur Joel Hyatt. Olbermann became the face of the new network after leaving MSNBC almost fourteen months ago.

But now he is no longer. Gore & Co. have fired Olbermann and insist that the progressive pundit violated the terms of his $50 million contract.

Rick Ross' Name is Safe: Judge Tosses 'Freeway' Rick Ross' Lawsuit

A new development in the Rick Ross name lawsuit surfaced yesterday.

A Los Angeles county court judge has thrown out the trademark infringement case brought by infamous drug trafficker "Freeway" Rick Ross against rapper Rick Ross, TMZ reports.

Ross (the rap star) was born William Roberts, which in comparison probably isn't as catchy as his stage name.

"I should've filed a lawsuit while I was in prison," "Freeway" Rick said.

Pop star Justin Bieber released his new single "Boyfriend" this week. But a phone-number prank he unleashed three weeks ago has a Texas attorney calling for possible legal action.

Bieber, 18, sent a message in jest to his 19 million followers on Twitter: "Call me right now." The teen's tweet also included a Dallas-area phone number -- with the last digit replaced by a question mark, CBS News reports.

Beliebers worldwide began guess-dialing, and found two numbers that worked. The owners of those numbers, neither of whom is Justin Bieber, have been beating back annoying callers ever since -- to the tune of thousands every day.

Amy Winehouse's $4.6M Estate Goes to Her Parents

When Amy Winehouse died in July, the first thing everyone wanted to know was how it happened. The second thing everyone wanted to know? What would happen to Amy Winehouse's estate.

Recently released probate records indicate that Winehouse's estate -- after taxes -- is worth about $4.6 million U.S. They also state that the singer died without a will.

Her parents will get everything.

Lorax Statue Stolen From Dr. Seuss' CA Home

A Lorax statue was stolen from the late Dr. Seuss' estate in San Diego, police said Tuesday.

The Lorax statue was made of bronze and weighed 300 pounds. The late author's widow Audrey Geisel and a groundskeeper discovered the statue was missing on Monday. San Diego Police believe the statue was rolled down a hill adjacent to the property and loaded it into a getaway vehicle, Reuters reports.

The Lorax movie, starring Zac Efron and Taylor Swift, hit theaters earlier this month. Police are currently investigating whether the Lorax statute was stolen as a prank inspired by the film's release or if it was for the bronze, Reuters reports.

The stolen Lorax statue is valued at $10,000, KPBS reports. And the thieves could be facing a hefty sentence because of it.

Whitney Houston's ex-husband Bobby Brown spent a few hours behind bars Monday after his arrest in connection with DUI, police said.

Brown, 43, was pulled over in Los Angeles' Reseda neighborhood about 12:20 p.m., when cops spotted him driving while talking on a cell phone without using a hands-free device, the Los Angeles Times reports. That's been illegal in California since 2009, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

Officers conducted a field sobriety test, which Brown allegedly failed, police said. So what punishments could Brown possibly face for his alleged cell-phone and DUI violations?

Simon Cowell Finds Woman with a Brick in His Bathroom

A crazed woman went after television's most reviled music judge on Saturday, breaking into Simon Cowell's London home with a brick. This was after the woman, Leanne Zaloumis, 29, reportedly hurled items at the mansion.

On-site security detained the Simon Cowell intruder after finding her in a bathroom, surrounded by glass and holding a brick. She was placed in a locked room until officers arrived. When they did, she was hiding inside a wardrobe, probably hoping that police would think she had left.

Reality TV's Kim Kardashian, who shrugged off a "flour bomb" assault last week, now says it was no laughing matter. Headlines today suggest Kardashian "may press charges."

That's what news outlets including MSNBC, The Washington Post, and E! Online are reporting after Kardashian's latest comments about her flour bombing Thursday night.

But technically, those headlines are incorrect -- even though Kim Kardashian is a flour-bombing victim, she has no power to press charges against anyone.

Megan Fox Sued for 'Assaulting' Photog with Husband Brian Austin Green

A peeping photog has sued Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green, accusing the husband and wife duo of violently assaulting him on a Hawaii beach. The paparazzo, Delbert Shaw, claims that he suffered serious injuries.

The lawsuit was filed on Monday morning in Los Angeles County Superior Court, according to gossip site TMZ. Shaw has reportedly asked for an unspecified amount in damages, but chances are the suit will be settled before you and I ever learn how much he really wants.

Kim Kardashian was hit with a ‘flour bomb” Thursday night -- the latest in a series of benign celebrity “bombings” that can technically be considered assault and battery.

Kardashian showed up at the West Hollywood launch party for her new perfume and was walking down the red carpet when a protester threw a bag of flour at her, the Los Angeles Times reports. Kardashian, covered in white powder, was quickly ushered to safety.

It's not clear why the flour bomber attacked Kardashian. But the use of benign substances to “bomb” celebrities and public figures seems to be on the rise -- and legal consequences can follow.

"Girls Gone Wild" creator Joe Francis claims he dropped a wild amount of money to go halfsies on a helicopter. But the chopper deal apparently never took off, and now -- 10 years later -- he's suing to get his money back.

Joe Francis' helicopter lawsuit stems from an alleged oral agreement in 2002, gossip website TMZ reports. Francis forked over $226,000 for part-ownership of a Bell 206 LongRanger helicopter, which he never got to fly and was sold behind his back, his lawsuit claims.

But some potential legal obstacles will likely land Joe Francis' helicopter lawsuit in a judge's wastebasket recycling bin.

DMX Sued Over Failed Comeback Tour

Rapper DMX has only been out of jail for a few months, but it seems he can't escape the law. The hip-hop star is being sued by a booking agency he had allegedly hired to plan his European comeback tour. As fans know, that tour, which was slated to begin March 29 in Germany, has been cancelled.

Booking agency Heavy Rotation has since sued DMX in New York court. The DMX tour lawsuit accuses the artist of souring the deal by failing to stay out of legal trouble.

El DeBarge, the Grammy-nominated singer who scored a hit with "Rhythm of the Night" in 1985, was arrested in connection with a drug deal in the rhythm of broad daylight, police said.

DeBarge, 50, whose real name is Eldra Patrick DeBarge, was busted by undercover cops near a freeway interchange in Los Angeles' Encino neighborhood, an LAPD spokeswoman told the Los Angeles Times.

Officers observed DeBarge and another man taking part in an apparent drug deal about 2 p.m. Monday, gossip website TMZ reports. Police also found illegal drugs in the area where DeBarge was standing, though they did not disclose what kind of drugs were found.

Charges Dropped Against 'Teen Mom 2' Star Jenelle Evans

The year may be young, but “Teen Mom 2” star Jenelle Evans has already seen more than her fair share of legal trouble. She’s been arrested three times, she’s filed complaints, and now some of the charges against her have been dropped.

North Carolina prosecutors have decided to withdraw all charges against Jenelle Evans that arise from allegations made by her ex-roommate Hanna Inman. Inman reportedly decided not to pursue prior accusations that Evans made threats and harassing phone calls.

Rapper Young Vito Indicted in Murder of Slim Dunkin

After three months of investigation, a Georgia grand jury has indicted rapper Young Vito in the December 2011 shooting death of fellow artist Slim Dunkin. Young Vito, born Vinson Hardimon, has been charged with murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

When news of the Slim Dunkin murder first broke, reports tied the altercation to a stolen piece of candy.

But it now appears the real dispute may have been a battle over studio space.

Ex-“Desperate Housewives” star Nicollette Sheridan had a majority of jurors on her side — but not enough to avoid a mistrial in her wrongful-termination lawsuit, jurors told The Hollywood Reporter.

Eight of 12 jurors sided with Sheridan in her suit, which sought $5.7 million in back pay from the ABC television network. That’s just one juror short of the nine that are required for a verdict in a civil lawsuit.

But Sheridan’s lawyer cast Monday’s mistrial in a positive light: “She got her message out,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. And there may soon be a sequel.

Brooke Mueller Plea Deal: No Jail Time in Cocaine Case

The Brooke Mueller plea deal is pretty sweet.

Charlie Sheen’s ex was arrested in December and charged with felony possession of cocaine under 4 grams, felony possession with intent to distribute, and misdemeanor assault. In exchange for a guilty plea, Aspen, Colo., prosecutors have agreed to drop the last two charges, according to gossip website TMZ.

Additionally, the mother of twins will serve no time. Instead, she will spend the next 12 months on probation, The Inquisitr reports.

Jason Russell, the filmmaker behind the viral video "Kony 2012," is receiving medical treatment after police detained him in connection with public intoxication and indecent exposure, police said.

Police detained Russell, 33, near San Diego's Mission Bay Park about 11:30 a.m. Thursday, when concerned citizens reported a half-naked man running through traffic and screaming, KNSD-TV reports.

Officers found Russell "in his underwear" and allegedly masturbating in public, a police spokeswoman said. Russell also allegedly vandalized some cars and was likely under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

George Clooney Arrested During Sudan Protest in DC

George Clooney was arrested outside the Sudanese embassy in Washington, D.C. this morning. The actor turned activist was participating in a protest against the country's government.

Just before the arrest, the star told attendees that "we need immediate humanitarian aid into Sudan before it becomes the worst humanitarian crisis in the world." The Sudanese government has been accused of killing citizens and blocking supplies from starving regions.

Paging Dr. Ramirez: You may be keeping up with Kim Kardashian, but your giant billboard with her unauthorized image may get you sued.

Drivers in Mexicali may have noticed Kim Kardashian posing in a bikini on a billboard touting the services of Dr. Victor Ramirez, a local plastic surgeon, gossip website TMZ reports. A desert border town, Mexicali sits on the Mexican side of the California border about 120 miles from San Diego.

"Don't risk your beauty, or your health," the billboard says in Spanish, in an attempt to dissuade potential patients from seeking an unauthorized surgeon.

But the use of Kardashian's image without permission may have put Ramirez in a risky predicament.

Russell Brand Arrest Warrant Issued Over iPhone Toss

New Orleans police have issued a misdemeanor warrant for Russell Brand's arrest, accusing the 36-year-old of criminal damage. The comedian, who was in town filming a movie, took a photographer's iPhone on Monday and tossed it through the glass window of a local law office.

Though he immediately contacted the firm and offered to pay for the window, the courtesy was not extended to photog Timothy Jackson. A peeved Jackson filed a police report, citing $700 in damage.

Actress Charlize Theron has adopted a baby boy and will raise the child as a single parent, according to news reports.

The Oscar-winning actress' spokesperson announced the adoption Wednesday. "Charlize Theron has adopted a child. She is the proud mom of a healthy baby boy named Jackson," the statement said, according to The Huffington Post. No further details were released.

Theron publicly expressed her desire to have a child without having to tie the knot in a 2008 interview, the Post reports. So just how common are single-parent adoptions?

"American Idol" contestant Jermaine Jones is set to be kicked off the show tonight, after producers learned Jones failed to disclose details about his violent criminal record, gossip website TMZ reports.

Jones, 25, of Pine Hill, N.J., confirmed via Twitter that he's being booted from "Idol": "Awww I will no longer b on the show," he said, according to USA Today. Jones' Twitter account has already been deleted.

Jones, a 6-foot-8-inch tall soulful singer known as the "Gentle Giant," was kicked off the show a few weeks ago, only to be brought back into the competition. This time, his disqualification is permanent -- and in true "Idol" style, producers are milking it for all it's worth.

The adoptive father of vampire Edward Cullen in the Twilight movie series is seeking a real-life divorce. Peter Facinelli and his wife, former "90210" actress Jennie Garth, announced they're splitting after 11 years of marriage.

"While we have decided to end our marriage, we both share the same deep love and devotion to our children," the couple said in a joint statement, according to The Huffington Post.

Facinelli, 38, and Garth, 39, tied the knot in 2001 after meeting on the set of a TV movie, Us Weekly reports. They have three daughters, ages 5, 9, and 14.

Jay-Z, Kanye West Settle 'Watch the Throne' Sampling Lawsuit

Court records show hip-hop stars Jay-Z and Kanye West have settled a sampling lawsuit brought by Syl Johnson. In October, the soul musician accused the pair of illegally sampling his song in a track entitled "The Joy," which appears on their joint album Watch the Throne.

The duo had denied the claims in December, arguing that the sample was not protected by copyright law. But they appear to have had a change of heart. Why?

Probably because there is no conclusive rule stating sampling is illegal.

'Next Top Model' Wins 'Too Fat' Lawsuit Over Size of Her Hips

Ananda Marchildon, the 2008 winner of Holland's Next Top Model, is not fat. In fact, she's so not fat, a Dutch court has declared it so.

The 25-year-old model has been awarded $85,000 in a lawsuit filed against Elite Model Management. The agency dropped her as a client for being too fat. Her hips measured about 36.2 inches when she won, but handlers wanted her to measure in at only 35.4 inches.

She refused to get any smaller.

Actor Steven Seagal is being sued by an Arizona man who claims he was under siege in an "overkill" arrest staged for reality TV.

Jesus Llovera, 43, filed a civil lawsuit against Seagal, 59, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, and the county's Board of Supervisors, The Arizona Republic reports.

Llovera claims his March 2011 arrest -- for keeping roosters and chickens on his property, in violation of his probation -- was staged for a reality TV show, A&E's "Steven Seagal: Lawman," according to the Republic.

Mario Batali Settles Wage Lawsuit for $5.25M

Celebrity chef turned talk show host Mario Batali is in the mood to negotiate. The Croc-wearing (orange, ugh) restaurateur has agreed to pay $5.25 million to settle a lawsuit brought by approximately 1,100 employees.

The Mario Batali lawsuit accuses the Italian cook of illegally confiscating employee tips. The money was supposed to go to "wine research" and to replace broken glasses.

It just went into Batali's pockets.

In yet another "Jersey Shore" lawsuit, a landlord is suing Jenni "JWoww" Farley and a production company for more than $450,000 in damages.

The landlord, Stuart Levine, claims he began renting a New Jersey home to JWoww more than a year before she became famous on MTV's "The Jersey Shore," according to The Hollywood Reporter.

But once the show took off, the rented home was used as a filming location without permission, Levine claims in his lawsuit. He's also suing for property damage.

Rush Limbaugh is facing the music after his crude and possibly defamatory remarks about Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke. First advertisers, and now some famous musicians, are cutting ties to the right-wing radio host.

The band Rush and singer Peter Gabriel are taking steps to stop Rush Limbaugh from using their music on his talk show, The Washington Post reports.

Peter Gabriel's 1986 song "Sledgehammer" was played in the background as Limbaugh called Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute" for her Congressional testimony about birth control. Gabriel was "appalled," his agent said.

A back-and-forth fight over dueling claims of cyberstalking landed "Teen Mom 2" star Jenelle Evans back behind bars Monday -- for about 30 minutes.

Jenelle Evans, 20, turned herself in to North Carolina authorities after an arrest warrant was issued Friday, Us Weekly reports. Evans was released after about half an hour, and did not have to post bond, her lawyer said.

Evans' arrest was in connection with a cyberstalking claim brought by her former boss James Duffy, Evans' lawyer told Us Weekly. It comes just weeks after Evans accused Duffy of the same crime.

R&B artist Akon is facing two lawsuits -- against a contractor who worked on upgrades at Akon's Georgia mansion, and against his own lawyers, the gossip website TMZ reports.

The lawyers, with a firm called Yoss, are suing Akon for allegedly refusing to pay more than $39,000 in legal bills, TMZ reports. The firm filed its Akon lawsuit in Georgia, alleging breach of contract -- though TMZ says it's not clear what the legal work was for.

The lawyers' Akon lawsuit is the second breach-of-contract suit to be filed against Akon this year, according to TMZ.

Paula Deen Sued for Sexually Harassing Woman at Work

Paula Deen may have dropped 2 pant sizes, but it appears she's gained back the weight in other, less-flattering areas.  The butter-loving chef and her brother are  the proud new owners of an employment lawsuit, filed by a former general manager at Uncle Bubba's Seafood and Oyster House in Savannah.

Lisa Jackson is accusing Bubba Hiers and Paula Deen of sexual harassment. When promoted to the managerial post, Deen allegedly told her she was "going to do something I've never done. I'm going to put a woman in a man's job."

'16 and Pregnant' Star Arrested for Stealing Walmart Pregnancy Test

Ever wonder what happened to 16 and Pregnant star Whitney Purvis? No? Well, you're going to find out.

The now 20-year-old was arrested on Thursday for stealing a pregnancy test from a Georgia Walmart. She allegedly concealed the test in her hoodie and then snuck into the store's bathroom.

She then peed on the stick.

Desperate Housewives Trial: Nicollete Sheridan Takes the Stand

Former Desperate Housewives actress Nicollette Sheridan took the stand on Thursday to defend a lawsuit she filed against show creator Mark Cherry and ABC Entertainment. She claims she was wrongfully terminated.

Much of the Desperate Housewives trial will hinge on a September 2008 incident that occurred between Sheridan and Cherry. She’s accused the writer of slapping her on the side of the head after she questioned his script. Soon after she complained to ABC execs, she found her character written off the law.

'Teen Moms' Search for Divorce Attorneys Online: They're Just Like Us

Okay, so maybe we don't want them to be just like us. But in some ways, they are.

On a recent episode of Teen Mom 2, Leah decides that it's time to get a divorce. Corey, her baby daddy and husband of 6 months, just doesn't want to make it work. There was a little too much cheating going on.

But once it's decided, how do you find a lawyer? In perhaps one of the smartest decisions she has ever made, Leah went online.

Justin Bieber's Birthday: 5 Legal Issues Now That He's 18

It's Justin Bieber's 18th birthday!

And while the androgynous heartthrob may still look like a pre-pubescent girl, that won't stop some ladies -- and men -- from rejoicing. In less than 24 hours, the Beebs has gone from jailbait to ripe for the picking.

But that's just part of what makes his 18th birthday both oh-so-good and oh-so-bad. The 18 and over crowd can now lure him into bed, but the rest of you can't.