Celebrity Justice - The FindLaw Celebrities and The Law Blog

July 2013 Archives

'MasterChef' Finalist Josh Marks Arrested for Assault

A former "MasterChef'" finalist was arrested Monday for assaulting a university police officer -- part of a wild rampage that the reality show contestant allegedly blamed on celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay.

Josh Marks, 26, was approached by a University of Chicago police officer who noticed cuts on his face while he attempted to use an emergency phone. The incident ended with Marks allegedly lunging at the cop, "striking him with a closed fist," and trying to grab the officer's gun, TMZ reports. It took five officers to subdue him.

Police say Marks, an ex-Army contract specialist, was not under the influence of drugs. Instead, he attributed his actions to "MasterChef" judge and co-host Gordon Ramsay.

'Real Housewives' Stars Indicted on Fraud, Conspiracy Charges

Your guilty pleasure is now a real-life legal drama: Two stars from Bravo's "Real Housewives of New Jersey" have been indicted on federal fraud charges.

Teresa Giudice and her husband Giuseppe "Joe" Giudice were charged Monday in a 39-count indictment with conspiracy to commit mortgage fraud -- mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, and making false statements on loan applications -- as well as bankruptcy fraud.

Though the Giudices are innocent until proven guilty, the lesson here is clear: You must always tell the truth when dealing with courts, paying taxes and applying for loans or mortgages.

'American Idol' Sued by 10 Black Contestants Over Discrimination

"American Idol" has been sued by 10 former contestants alleging racial discrimination.

The complaint, weighing in at a hefty 429 pages, targets Fox Broadcasting, Fremantle Media, executive producer Nigel Lythgoe, and a host of the show's corporate sponsors, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

But the plaintiffs -- who are each seeking at least $25 million in damages, according to their complaint -- will need to overcome a wide range of legal hurdles to succeed. Here are just a few:

Snooki, JWoww Can't Film in Jersey Town Because of Zoning

What do "Jersey Shore's" Snooki and JWoww, and some local zoning ordinances have in common? Well, an actual connection, for starters.

According to USA Today, not only do residents of Pelican Island, New Jersey, have serious concerns about Nicole "Snookie" Polizzie and Jennifer "JWoww" Farley's new reality TV show being taped at a home in their town, but these plans actually might violate a local regulation.

Shooting a TV show at a house on Sunset Drive South could violate the town's zoning ordinances, and a letter is on its way to inform Mike Loundy, the owner of the property where the show was being taped.

DMX Charged With Driving Without License (Again), Not DUI: Publicist

DMX was arrested early this morning, apparently on suspicion of a DUI. But despite widespread media reports, that's not what DMX was actually charged with, his publicist claims.

The rapper was pulled over in South Carolina about 3 a.m. and taken into custody. He was released about an hour later. According to the DMX's publicist, however, there was no drunken driving charge.

"Allegations about DMX being arrested for drunk driving are false. ... X was given a Breathalyzer test and easily passed it," the publicist said in a statement, according to MTV News. But DMX was charged with something else that he's already familiar with: driving without a license.

Nancy Grace Twitter Threats Land Man Behind Bars

A Nancy Grace Twitter threat has all the makings of a criminal drama: Jodi Arias, controversial Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and a creepy alleged stalker at the center of it all.

David Lee Simpson, 48, of Bath, New York, is apparently in stalker infatuation love with Jodi Arias, and he's not afraid to make death threats via Twitter to prove it.

Many people have qualms with Nancy Grace's (vindictive) reporting style on her cable TV show, but apparently Simpson really didn't like her coverage of the Jodi Arias trial.

Amanda Bynes on 5150 Hold After Alleged Driveway Fire

Former "All That" star and current headline-grabber Amanda Bynes was hospitalized on a 5150 hold Monday after she allegedly set fire to an elderly woman's driveway.

Law enforcement responded to reports of a fire outside a home in Thousand Oaks, California, and allegedly found Bynes standing near the urban campfire while holding a "little red gas tank," reports TMZ.

What is a 5150 hold, and what are Bynes' chances of going to jail over her alleged firestarting?

Chris Brown, Drake Win Legal Fight Against Nightclub Owners

Chris Brown and Drake are off the hook for a lawsuit filed by a nightclub that was the unexpected host to the two brawling in June 2012.

The $16 million lawsuit brought by the trademark holder of NYC's Greenhouse nightclub was thrown out of court Monday. A judge stated that Brown and Drake had "no duty to the club to behave," especially since the fight occurred at the adjacent W.i.P nightclub, reports TMZ.

The lesson here: Even when celebrities like Chris Brown and Drake are behaving badly, it doesn't always amount to a legal injury.

Food Network Sued by Reality Show Winner Over Yogurt Franchise

Food Network has been sued and surprisingly, it doesn't involve Paula Deen. The network's reality show "Giving You the Business" doesn't really give you the business, claims a disgruntled contestant's new lawsuit.

In the show, which just wrapped up its first season, competing food service workers are put to the test with unexpected challenges in their eateries. The competitors do not know they are being filmed by hidden cameras -- and whoever out-performs the others wins his or her own franchise of the episode's featured restaurant.

But that's not what happened to winner Kris Herrera, his lawsuit claims.

Ric Flair Arrest Warrant Issued for Unpaid Spousal Support

An arrest warrant is out for Ric Flair, the man considered by many to be the greatest (and most bedazzled) pro wrestler of all time.

Apparently, however, he's not the greatest at paying spousal support.

A judge in Charlotte, North Carolina, issued the arrest order for the former professional wrestler after he allegedly failed to pay his estranged wife more than $32,000, the Charlotte Observer reports.

Chris Brown's Probation Revoked, so Why Is He Not in Jail?

R&B legend and occasional court attendee Chris Brown appeared Monday before a Los Angeles judge who revoked the singer's probation.

After reviewing the details of Brown's alleged hit-and-run in May, the judge revoked his felony probation, which he received for beating off-and-on girlfriend Rihanna in 2009. But Brown was not ordered to jail, reports The Associated Press.

So why isn't Chris Brown behind bars for violating his probation, and what's next for the misbehaving singer?

'America's Next Top Model' Runner-Up Arrested for Burglary

A former "America's Next Top Model" contestant was arrested on suspicion of burglary and fraud in Palm Springs, and is slated to appear in court this week.

Maybe she'll cat-walk in?

Renee Alway, 27, was a second runner-up on the show's eighth cycle and is no stranger to "smizing" -- for mugshots, that is.

In all, the model is facing a whopping 20 charges, including 12 felonies.

Kardashians Sued Over Lawsuit That's Alleged to Be a TV Stunt

The Kardashians using a lawsuit as drama for their reality show? No way.

Yes way, according to a new lawsuit brought by Ellen Pearson-Kardashian, who married famed O.J. Simpson attorney Robert Kardashian two months before he died.

Earlier this year, the famous Kardashian kids sued Pearson for trying to publish all of their late father's secret diaries for tabloid moola, and now she's suing them back.

Justin Bieber's Buddy Lil Twist Busted for DUI

Rapper and Justin Bieber cohort Lil Twist was arrested for DUI in Southern California on Thursday... while driving Bieber's car.

Officers pulled over Lil Twist, whose legal name is Christopher Lynn Moore, for speeding in Bieber's Fisker Karma at 3:30 a.m. in Calabasas. The arresting officers believed that while he did not appear drunk, he did appear "under the influence of a substance," reports TMZ.

Drunk or not, a DUI for Bieber's buddy Lil Twist won't have lil' consequences.

Alleged Paula Deen Extortion Plot Leads to Man's Arrest

The latest in the chronicles of celebrity chef Paula Deen involves an alleged extortion plot that led to a New York man's arrest.

FBI agents arrested Thomas George Paculis, 62, on suspicion of making threats to expose "true and damning" information about Deen. Paculis allegedly claimed he would only keep quiet if he were paid.

According to a complaint, Paculis emailed Deen's lawyer five days after her infamous deposition transcript went public. In the email, Paculis claimed that he was going to reveal details about Deen's use of the "N word" at one of her restaurants, and added: "As always ... there is a price for such confirmation."

'Biggest Loser' Contestant Sued for Gaining Weight

A one-time contestant on NBC's "The Biggest Loser" is being sued for gaining weight. FC Online Marketing, which owns the franchise ilovekickboxing.com, has filed a lawsuit against Tara Costa, who lost an impressive 155 pounds on "The Biggest Loser: Couples 2" back in 2009.

At the end of the day, it's a battle about the bulge. FCOM claims Costa gained back "far too much weight" in 2011 to represent the brand in photo shoots and public appearances.

Costa and FCOM have filed lawsuits against each other over issues of in-person appearances, signing with an alleged competitor, use of Costa's likeness and -- most significantly, says the company's chief -- her weight, reports Newsday.

'High School Musical's' Chris Warren Sues Parents, Wins $330K

Former "High School Musical" star Chris Warren's lawsuit has panned out well for him. In fact, according to TMZ, a judge has awarded him more than $330,000. Who was he suing, though? His parents.

Ah, child stars.

This lawsuit, however, was apparently warranted.

Man's 'Dr. Phil' Confession Leads to Arrest

An Oklahoma man's "Dr. Phil" confession has led to his arrest. Prosecutors have filed charges against Timothy Dean Cruz, 25, for allegedly beating his girlfriend after he confessed on the popular TV talk show.

On an episode of "Dr. Phil" that aired in May, titled "Broken Bones, Broken Hearts, Broken Engagements," Cruz admitted to violent acts including beating and choking his girlfriend.

After police interviewed Cruz's girlfriend, she allegedly described almost a dozen different instances in which Cruz had inflicted acts of violence on her.

James Gandolfini's Estate to Go Mostly to His Children

Following James Gandolfini's death in June, his multi-million dollar estate has been left in large part to his teenage son and infant daughter.

The celebrated "Sopranos" actor left an estate of approximately $70 million, the lion's share of which is set aside for his son Michael, reports The Associated Press.

With a combination of wills and trusts, Gandolfini has ensured that his estate will be properly divided.

Paula Deen Cites Gay Marriage Ruling to Fend Off Lawsuit

Celebrity chef Paula Deen is using the Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling as support for her defense in a racial discrimination lawsuit.

The suit was filed by a woman who claims she was subjected to a hostile work environment at Deen's restaurants, CNN reports. But because the woman is white, she therefore doesn't have the standing, or legal right, to claim racial discrimination, Deen's lawyer argues in a motion filed Monday.

So how is the Supreme Court's Prop 8 ruling being used as an ingredient in Deen's legal defense?

3 Lawsuits Against Ex-Elmo Actor Kevin Clash Tossed by Judge

Three lawsuits against ex-Elmo actor Kevin Clash have been thrown out by a judge in New York, according to The Associated Press. Why?

As you may recall, several claims were made last year against Clash, the man behind the beloved furry red Elmo suit on "Sesame Street." At least three different men claimed that Clash sexually abused them when they were children. Clash resigned from the show last fall.

Federal Judge Kevin Koeltl is now tossing out three lawsuits, claiming that the statute of limitations had already expired.