Celebrity Justice - The FindLaw Celebrities and The Law Blog

May 2013 Archives

Want to Be a Reality TV Star? 3 Tips Before You Sign

Ever since those "Real World" housemates stopped being polite and started being real, actor hopefuls and super-fans alike have wanted to be reality TV stars.

But before you sign a contract to eat maggots off of Joe Rogan's feet for a chance at $10,000, you should consider the following legal tips:

Justin Bieber Speeding, Again? Deputies Investigating

Justin Bieber has been caught speeding, again. Or at least, his car has. It looks like the popstar and his now rather infamous white Ferrari can't stay out of trouble when it comes obeying speed limits.

First, on Monday, Bieber was allegedly zipping through his gated community outside Los Angeles at freeway speeds (well over the posted 25 mph limit) and upset one of his neighbors, ex-NFL player Keyshawn Johnson -- so much so that Johnson followed him home to confront his reckless driving.

Two days later, Bieber's Ferrari was pulled over again. But according to TMZ, it was not actually Bieber himself behind the wheel, but his friend, rapper Lil Twist.

Let's look at the potential legal implications for the Biebs.

Kate Upton Furious at Victoria's Secret for Using Old Photo

Model Kate Upton is none too pleased that old photos of her are featured in a new Victoria’s Secret catalogue after they dissed her look in the past as “too obvious.” The reprised Kate Upton Victoria’s Secret photos were used without the 20-year-old model’s permission, The New York Post reports.

But does Kate Upton have any legal rights over the Victoria’s Secret photos?

Amanda Bynes' Sexual Harassment Allegations False: NYPD

NYPD authorities on Tuesday denied Amanda Bynes’ claims that officers sexually harassed her during her arrest for allegedly smoking pot in her apartment building and then throwing a bong out the window.

NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne confirmed that the department had internally investigated the matter and had found no evidence to back up Bynes’ allegations, reports TMZ.

Bynes’ Twitter rants may be mostly hot air, but if her allegations are true, she has cause for legal recourse.

Amanda Bynes Arrested After Throwing Bong Out of Window

Sigh, here we go. Again. Troubled actress Amanda Bynes was arrested at her New York apartment after she allegedly chucked a bong out of her window. Police claim that she was trying to destroy evidence of her drug use.

Bynes, 26, was arrested on charges of reckless endangerment, felony tampering with evidence and criminal possession of marijuana, reports MTV.

Wolfgang Puck Sued Over Alleged Tip-Skimming

Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck is being sued. A class action lawsuit has been filed in Manhattan Supreme Court against one of Puck's catering companies in New York. According to the suit, the company was allegedly adding a 22% service charge, but didn't share those charges with servers and bartenders. A plaintiff's representative told the New York Post that hundreds of thousands in unpaid gratuity are owed.

The Wolfgang Puck catering company contracts with other well-known companies like Live Nation, Google, and Rolling Stone magazine to provide their food and drink services at public and private functions.

What do state and federal laws have to say about this Puck company's alleged violation?

Cartoon Network Lawsuit Alleges 'Annoying' Copyright Violation

In a Cartoon Network lawsuit, a North Dakota advertising agency alleges copyright infringement by the creators of a show called "Annoying Orange."

Ad agency H2M says "Annoying Orange" creators Dane Boedigheimer and Spencer Grove stole the image and likeness of a talking orange character from a copyrighted H2M character called "The Talking Orange."

This begs the question: Orange they glad their talking orange idea caught on? Apparently not.

Justin Bieber May Sue Guests for Snitching On His House Parties

Attending Justin Bieber's latest house party just might just get you sued if you blab to your fellow Beliebers about how great (or lame) it was.

Bieber party invites apparently come with a mandatory non-disclosure agreement (NDA) that prevents the signing party from discussing or publishing any details about the party and its adorable host. Breaching the agreement may cost a guest $5 million in liquidated damages, TMZ reports.

Can Justin Bieber actually legally force his party guests to pay $5 mil just for talking about his party?

Amy's Baking Co. Gets Legal Threat Over Relaunch Plans

As Amy and Samy Bouzaglo would say, Amy's Baking Company has legal "haters."

In anticipation of a grand reopening, the Bouzaglos were planning to host a press conference. But the conference was canceled when Gordon Ramsay's "Kitchen Nightmares" production company, Upper Ground Enterprises, sent the notorious reality stars a cease and desist letter.

In the letter, obtained by the Phoenix Business Journal, attorneys for Ramsay's company threatened a lawsuit for liquidated damages against the infamous couple.

Chief Keef Arrested Again, This Time for Pot Smoking

Has teen rapper Chief Keef been arrested again? Yes, and this time, it's for marijuana. According to a police report obtained by TMZ, the 17-year-old Keef was allegedly smoking pot at a fancy hotel in DeKalb County, Georgia.

No further details have been released on the most recent arrest of Keef (whose real name is Keith Cozart). We do know that he is being charged with disorderly conduct for this incident, however.

What is disorderly conduct?

Randy Travis Sues Over DWI Dashcam Video

Country star Randy Travis is suing over some naked, drunken driving arrest footage, reports the Austin American-Statesman.

It was just earlier this year in January when Travis pleaded guilty to a charge of driving under the influence. The incident itself occurred in August 2012, when Travis was found stark naked at the scene of a car accident he was involved in. His reported blood-alcohol level was also 0.21%, well over Texas' legal limit of 0.08%.

A judge had originally granted Travis' request to block the video from being released. But the Texas attorney general's office is now stepping in.

Angelina Jolie's Cancer Gene, BRCA1, in Focus at Supreme Court

Earlier this week, Angelina Jolie wrote a heartfelt op-ed in The New York Times about her decision to undergo a preventive double mastectomy. She made the decision after doing a genetic test that showed she carries a gene that greatly increases her risk of developing aggressive breast and ovarian cancers.

What many people don't realize is that Angelina Jolie's cancer gene, BRCA1, is patented by a company called Myriad Genetics. The gene, and the company, are at the center of a pending U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

For Amy's Baking Co., 'Kitchen Nightmares' Turns All Too Real

For Amy's Baking Company, "Kitchen Nightmares" was just the beginning of a primetime public image nightmare from which the owners can't seem to rouse themselves.

Ever since the episode featuring the Scottsdale, Arizona, eatery aired May 10 on Fox, owners Salomon "Samy" and Amanda "Amy" Bouzaglo have had more than 1,000 rotten tomatoes digitally flung at them through scathing Yelp reviews. Even more "haters" (as Amy would call them) have taken to Facebook.

From tip theft to a public Facebook meltdown and claims of hacking, the Bouzaglos' business model is a recipe for disaster with a heaping side of legal ramifications.

Can Will Smith's Son Jaden Really Pursue Emancipation?

A few days ago, UK tabloid The Sun "revealed" that Will Smith's son, Jaden, wanted to be emancipated for his 15th birthday. But apparently, parents reporters just don't understand.

"Here's the thing I need to explain," Jaden later clarified on "Ellen." "I'm not going anywhere." He then playfully proclaimed that he'd like to live with his parents and freeload for the next 20 to 30 years.

While both Smiths were on the same page, chalking up the emancipation talk as a product of the rumor (or miscommunication) mill, the question still remains: Can soon-to-be 15-year-old Jaden Smith pursue emancipation if he actually wanted to?

Is Ashley Tisdale's 'Super Tweeter' Fan a Stalker?

Former Disney princess Ashley Tisdale might have a stalker super-fan.

An obsessed male fan sent more than 18,000 tweets to the actress -- and then allegedly showed up at her Los Angeles home, TMZ reports. The tweets are less endearing and more delusional, writing about an ongoing relationship as BFFs and beyond.

The tweets are creepy, but is the guy a "stalker," legally speaking?

O.J. Simpson Back in Court: What's a Habeas Hearing?

O.J. Simpson is back in court this week for a habeas hearing, after which a judge may decide whether Simpson's rights were infringed upon during his most recent trial and conviction.

Simpson alleges that he needs a new trial because his lawyer, Yale Galanter, had known about plans to steal Simpson's sports memorabilia from two dealers and had offered poor advice at trial, reports the Associated Press.

As O.J. comes before a judge again, most of America should know the basics of a habeas hearing.

Why Would Disney Want to Trademark 'Dia de los Muertos'?

Disney has made a killing by dipping generously into various cultural pools: "Mulan," "Brave," "Lilo and Stitch," "Pocohontas," and "The Princess and the Frog," to name a few. But why would the children's entertainment powerhouse try to trademark Dia de los Muertos?

Trademarks can be useful legal tools when creating a company or marketing a product, but as Disney may have learned, it can be less than magical trying to trademark an existing cultural holiday.

'Girls Gone Wild's' Joe Francis Guilty of Assault, False Imprisonment

The founder of "Girls Gone Wild," Joe Francis, has been found guilty of assault and false imprisonment after a two-week trial in Los Angeles.

Francis was convicted of five misdemeanor counts in total, and could face up to five years behind bars, reports the Associated Press.

So why was he charged with these crimes?

Dr. Phil Sues Gawker Over Deadspin's Use of Video

"Dr. Phil's" producers are suing Gawker Media for posting his interview with Manti Te'o's catfishing hoaxster on its sports gossip blog, Deadspin.com.

The suit claims that Gawker stole copyrighted material and posted the juiciest parts of the interview online before the "Dr. Phil" episode aired, resulting in lower ratings for the second episode of the two-part interview.

The claim also takes aim beyond Deadspin's specific use of this one video, including any incident in which copyrighted material is posted online before it airs on TV in all time zones, reports UPI.

CNN Anchor Carol Costello Reports iPhone Robbery

Living proof that being on TV doesn't make you less vulnerable to crime, CNN anchor Carol Costello reported that several teens in Atlanta's midtown snatched her iPhone last week.

In an all-too-familiar scenario, Costello described how the two suspects ran up behind her while she was taking a call and forcibly took the phone from her, taking a chunk of her hair in the process, the Associated Press reports.

As smartphone robberies of this kind continue to increase, lawmakers and consumers are taking steps to stem the tide of thefts.

Lauryn Hill Sentenced to 3 Months in Prison for Tax Evasion

The education of Lauryn Hill on the legal consequences of tax evasion will continue in prison, as the singer has been sentenced to three months behind bars.

Hill, 37, of South Orange, New Jersey, was also sentenced to three months of additional home confinement on Monday, the Associated Press reports. It wasn't immediately clear where she'd be incarcerated, but TMZ reports the judge ordered her to report to prison by July 8.

The five-time grammy winner pleaded guilty to failing to file tax returns for more than $1.8 million in income between 2005 and 2007, reports Rolling Stone. But just before Lauryn Hill's sentencing, she apparently paid up on her tax debts.

Reese Witherspoon's Arrest Video: A 'Legally Blonde' Analysis

Proving that the secret to becoming Elle Woods is not at the bottom of a Michelob Ultra bottle, Reese Witherspoon was caught on tape drunkenly arguing with an officer after her husband was pulled over for a DUI.

In video captured by the dash cam of a Georgia state trooper's cruiser and obtained by TMZ, the "Sweet Home Alabama" star was more than a little sour to law enforcement and made a number of notable legal claims whilst inebriated.

Here's the video, and a breakdown of how "legally blonde" each statement is:

Bon Jovi Applauds N.J.'s New Good Samaritan Overdose Law

Singer Bon Jovi is lending his support to a new Good Samaritan Overdose Protection law set to be signed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie today.

The new bill promises to provide protection from drug charges for "Good Samaritans" who call 911 to report someone has overdosed, as happened to Bon Jovi's daughter Stephanie in 2012, reports The Star-Ledger.

New Jersey's Good Samaritan law mirrors existing laws in states like New York, where lawmakers have attempted to curb drug deaths by encouraging calls to police.

Bethenny Frankel's Divorce Case Takes 'Anonymous' Turn

Former "Real Housewife" Bethenny Frankel is stealthily becoming a real divorcee, as she has filed to continue her New York divorce case under the name "Anonymous."

Frankel and her putative ex-husband Jason Hoppy seem set on keeping their ongoing divorce out of the public eye. They apparently asked the New York court system to refile their case anonymously, reports E! Online.

Although Frankel's star may be on the decline, is it just that easy for celebrities to get their names kept secret in court?