Celebrity Justice - The FindLaw Celebrities and The Law Blog

August 2014 Archives

Sean Kingston Sued by Jeweler Over Unpaid Bling Bill

No one could accuse Sean Kingston of not sporting enough bling.

The 24-year-old rapper is well known for sporting hefty amounts of diamond and gold jewelry. He is, however, being accused of failing to pay for all that bling in a lawsuit filed in a Manhattan federal court reports the New York Daily News.

How large is Kingston's alleged bling debt?

'Cops' Crew Member Shot, Killed by Actual Cop

For those who think "Cops" isn't real: One of the show's crewmembers was shot and killed by Omaha police officers during a shootout with an armed robbery suspect.

Bryce Dion, a sound supervisor with the "Cops" camera crew, was fatally shot by police gunfire despite wearing an armored vest. TMZ reports that Dion was in the entryway of a Wendy's -- where police had received a robbery call -- when the robbery suspect emerged, fired his weapon, and police opened fire.

What in reality TV happened here?

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie Are Married: 3 Legal Questions

Brangelina has become official.

After years of speculation as to when, or if, the famous couple would ever tie the knot after getting engaged in 2012, Brad Pitt and Angelia Jolie managed to sneak in a private wedding ceremony in France, a spokesman told The Associated Press.

What are some of the legal questions the newlyweds may be facing?

Rapper Young Jeezy Arrested After Killing at Wiz Khalifa Concert

Atlanta rapper Young Jeezy was arrested on weapons charges two days after a shooting backstage at a California stop of his tour with Wiz Khalifa left one man dead.

Jeezy, whose real name is Jay Wayne Jenkins, was one of six men arrested at the Verizon Amphitheatre in Irvine on Sunday when police, while executing a search warrant, found assault weapons backstage, reports the San Jose Mercury News.

To be clear, "We haven't made any arrests for the homicide," a police spokesman told the newspaper.

'Dating Naked' Castmember Sues VH1 for $10M for Showing Her Naked

"Dating Naked" is a dating reality show following the success of Discovery Channel's "Naked and Afraid," but one castmember is apparently a bit miffed at just how much "naked" VH1 broadcast.

Jessie Nizewitz, 28, is a New York model and a plaintiff in a $10 million lawsuit against VH1's operator Viacom for allowing a brief crotch shot (unblurred) to be shown in an episode of "Dating Naked." According to Entertainment Weekly, Nizewitz was assured that her genitals would be blurred, and now that viewers have caught wind, she's been "humiliated on social media."

Can Nizewitz really sue over a naked shot on a naked show?

Robin Williams' Ashes Scattered in SF Bay. Can You Do the Same?

After his death by suicide shocked his legions of fans, the late actor and comedian Robin Williams' ashes have been scattered in San Francisco Bay.

According to his death certificate, Williams' ashes were scattered in the bay near his home in Tiburon, California, following his cremation, reports Reuters.

Were Williams' remains afforded special treatment, or is it legal for anyone to scatter a deceased person's ashes at sea or over a body of water?

FindLaw's 'Legal Emmys' 2014: Vote for Your Favorite Legal TV Show!

The Primetime Emmy Awards are set for Monday (bonus points if you watched the Creative Arts Emmys), and FindLaw has picked our favorite legal TV shows that have been nominated.

Some of the nominees really put a fine point on what it must be like to be a sexy, confident, and independent attorney (no, Lifetime didn't green-light my made-for-TV movie), while others expose the gaping holes in the legal system between politicians, law enforcement, and inmates.

So check out our Top 5 "Legal Emmy" nominees for 2014 -- and then vote for your favorite, below:

Adam Carolla Settles Podcast Patent Troll Case

It appears that podcaster Adam Carolla has seized victory from the jaws of the patent troll... or at least a favorable settlement.

As part of the settlement, both the patent troll and Carolla (along with his business partners) agreed to drop claims against each other over use of U.S. Patent No. 8,112,504, describing a "system for disseminating media content representing episodes in a serialized sequence." According to Courthouse News Service, Carolla had raised more than $475,000 for the Save Our Podcasts Legal Defense Fund, which funded Carolla and his podcast entities' legal defense from a patent infringement claim.

As the dust settles on Carolla's bout with the patent troll, what have we learned?

ExxonMobil Sues FXX Over 'XX' Logo Design, Wins 1st Round

Oil giant ExxonMobil won a small victory in a Texas federal court this week. A judge allowed its trademark dilution claims to proceed against the FXX network over the "XX" design in their logos.

Both ExxonMobil and the FXX network (owned by Fox) feature stylized interlocking Xs in their logos; Exxon is claiming under Texas state law that FXX is watering down the commercial impact of its logo. The Hollywood Reporter notes that FXX already owns the standard trademark to "FXX," claiming this bars any trademark dilution claims against the network.

The federal judge sided with Exxon and allowed the suit to proceed, but why?

Mr. T Pities the Fool Who Skips Out on Jury Duty

The jury summons was sent to a "Lawrence Tureaud." But many of those waiting outside a Chicago courthouse to report for jury duty last week recognized the man as Mr. T, star of television's "The A-Team" and the movie "Rocky III."

Tureaud, 62, wasn't wearing any of his trademark gold chains, reports the Daily Herald, but he was still in Mr. T form as he waited to see if he was selected as a juror. "I pity the criminals today," Tureaud said, adding: "I've got to set an example. I understand my responsibility."

Although Mr. T wasn't selected as a juror, why should you follow his example and show up for jury duty?

Terry Gilliam Copied Mural for 'Zero Theorem,' Lawsuit Asserts

Director Terry Gilliam is being sued over a mural in his new movie "Zero Theorem" that street artists claim he lifted from a real-life mural in Argentina.

In a suit filed in federal court in Illinois on Wednesday, a group of street artists (two from Argentina and one from Canada) claim that Gilliam's newest film infringes on a copyright they hold on the "Castillo" mural in Buenos Aires, Argentina's capital. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the plaintiffs claim that a mural covering the protagonist's living quarters in "Zero Theorem" is a rip-off of their well known work.

Can you copyright a mural, and if so, did Terry Gilliam infringe on it?

Chris Kattan Gets 3 Years of Probation for Drugged-Driving DUI

Actor and comedian Chris Kattan was sentenced to three years probation, a $500 fine, restitution, and drug and alcohol classes after being convicted of driving under the influence.

The actor, best known for his stint on "Saturday Night Live," was involved in a crash earlier this year on a Los Angeles freeway when his Mercedes Benz collided with a parked vehicle, reports TMZ. At the time, Kattan was taking the prescription sleep drug Ambien.

How do prescription drug DUI charges work?

3 Things You Should Know About Robin Williams' Trusts

The world was saddened by the loss of Robin Williams to suicide on Monday, but the trusts he set up may continue to provide for his family after his passing.

The "Dead Poets Society" actor and renowned comedian is survived by his wife, two ex-spouses, and three adult children, ages 22 to 31. Forbes reports that Williams was worth close to $50 million at the time of his death, but this may not include the money he set aside in trust.

Here are three things Robin Williams fans should know about his trusts:

Justin Bieber's DUI Plea Deal: Anger Management, $50K Donation

Perennially troubled pop star Justin Bieber has agreed to a plea deal following a DUI arrest in Florida earlier this year, according to local news reports in Miami.

Under the terms of the deal, Bieber is set to plead guilty to careless driving and resisting arrest, attend an anger management course, and make a $50,000 charitable donation, reports the Miami Herald. In return, the state will drop the DUI charges against Bieber.

What led to the charges against the Biebs, and why is Bieber likely to be well-versed in anger management techniques by the end of this year?

MMA Fighter 'War Machine' On the Run After Girlfriend's Beating

MMA fighter "War Machine" is on the run from the Las Vegas police after allegedly beating girlfriend/porn star Christy Mack to a pulp.

The mixed martial artist, also known as Jonathan Koppenhaver, faces seven arrest warrants after the alleged attack that sent Mack to the hospital Friday. TMZ reports that Mack has 18 broken bones in her face and a ruptured spleen.

What serious charges does War Machine face as he tries to run from the law?

Miley Cyrus Special Prompts FCC Investigation

The Federal Communications Commission is investigating complaints about the "Miley Cyrus: Bangerz Tour" concert special aired by NBC last month.

The FCC has so far reported receiving four complaints about the special, which featured a toned-down version of the controversial singer's typical stage show, reports Rolling Stone. The show nonetheless included enough sexual and drug-related imagery to draw complaints from viewers that the show violated the Commission's indecency guidelines.

What got viewers so steamed and what are the FCC's rules regarding indecent programming?

Kim Kardashian's 'Meth Face' Used on Tenn. Sheriff's Website

Kim Kardashian may have never used meth, but you wouldn't know it from her face on one Tennessee sheriff's website.

According to TMZ, the Bradley County Sheriff's Office hosted a number of "before" and "after" photos to give visitors the impression of what meth can do to an otherwise vivacious visage. Turns out, the Sheriff's Office accidentally hosted a picture of Kim K alongside her heavily photoshopped "after" photo, giving us all a glimpse into Kim's face after a three month meth binge.

What can Kim do about her "meth face" being hosted online?

Wiz Khalifa Skips Court Hearing on Pot Bust; Arrest Warrant Issued

Wiz Khalifa has a warrant for his arrest in Texas after he skipped a court hearing in El Paso for a May marijuana arrest.

The young rapper, born Cameron Jibril Thomaz, was supposed to appear in court Wednesday to be arraigned for a misdemeanor pot possession charge. TMZ reports that when he was busted in May for allegedly trying to sneak weed through the El Paso International Airport, he snapped a selfie "and tweeted it out."

Now that there's a warrant out for his arrest, what will happen to the weed-loving rapper?

Kanye West Keeps It Real in Deposition, Proclaims Himself 'Smartest Celebrity'

As rapper deponents go, Kanye West may have Lil Wayne beat.

Transcripts obtained by TMZ from the rapper's recent deposition show that, like Lil Wayne before him, West isn't afraid to bring his on-stage swagger into the legal arena. Accused of beating a photographer and smashing his camera, West warns the photographer's lawyer "I'm the smartest celebrity you've ever f***ing dealt with. I'm not Britney Spears." One of those things is definitely true.

What else did West have to say in his deposition, and what should you do if you're ever subpoenaed for a deposition?

'Top Chef' Lawsuit Accuses NBC, Bravo of Stealing Show Idea

"Top Chef" is apparently going out to sea. In a new celebrity cruise venture called "Top Chef at Sea," contestants from prior seasons are set to compete on various cruise ships. Bravo describes how cruise guests can compete in "Top Chef"-style challenges and attend cooking demonstrations with the "Cheftestants." But according to a lawsuit, this was all someone else's idea.

Three producers are claiming that they cooked up the notion for a reality-show-meets-cruise event, and that both NBC and Bravo burned them.

When is an idea like "Top Chef at Sea" worth suing over?

Is CNN's 'The Hunt' Liable for Fugitive Deaths?

"The Hunt" is a new television show spotlighting wanted fugitives. But in the show's first month on the air, two of the suspected criminals featured on the show have turned up dead.

"The Hunt" is hosted by John Walsh, who as former host of the long-running "America's Most Wanted" certainly has some experience in harnessing the power of television to bring suspected criminals to justice.

But can "The Hunt" be liable for the deaths of the two men featured on the show?

After 'Expendables 3' Leak, Lionsgate Sues 'Does 1-10'

Film studio Lionsgate has filed a federal lawsuit against "John Does 1-10" following the online leak of an advanced copy of "Expendables 3," due out later this month.

High-quality copies of the film available at several torrent-sharing websites have all been linked back to the same original file. The company first discovered the pirated digital copy on July 24th, reports The Hollywood Reporter. Since then, the file has been downloaded more than a million times.

What does Lionsgate's lawsuit allege, and how do you sue someone if you don't know who they are?