Celebrity Justice - The FindLaw Celebrities and The Law Blog

March 2015 Archives

In a story almost too sadly cliche, a famous producer has been accused of sexually assaulting a beautiful young girl.

Harvey Weinstein, movie mogul and co-founder of Miramax, is accused of groping a 22-year-old model. Weinstein and the model first met at the red-carpet premiere of Weinstein's New York Spring Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall. The two made plans for the model to come to Weinstein's office the next day for an audition.

After a hard fought campaign, newly elected State's Attorney Alicia basks in the honeymoon period of her success. Meanwhile, the firm represents a filmmaker suing a video-sharing site and finds itself a victim of hackers.

Here's what you need to know from last night's episode, entitled "Undisclosed Recipients":

When your TV show becomes a huge success, why does it seem like everyone wants to get their hands on it? Fox is not happy that someone is trying to lay claim to the title of its hit new series, "Empire."

Fox is proactively suing Empire Distribution, Inc. to declare its rights to the title "Empire." Fox took the proactive step after Empire Distribution, Inc., a California record company, sent a demand letter accusing the television company of trademark infringement and trademark dilution. In its first demand, Empire Distribution wanted $8 million. Not wanting to give in to Empire Distributions' demands, Fox turned to the court asking for a declaratory judgment.

So, what's a declaratory judgment, and who has the better claim?

Taylor Swift is once again making sure nobody profits from her name.

The singer bought up TaylorSwift.porn and TaylorSwift.adult domain names before the new internet address suffixes become available to the general public in June. It's not that the singer will be expanding her business into the adult entertainment business -- it is just a savvy business move if she doesn't want Internet trolls profiting from her name and likeness. Plus, who wants to have their name associated with a porn site? Other than porn stars, of course.

With each domain name costing as much as $2,500, is it a good idea for you to start buying your own domain names?

The state's attorney race finally comes to an end. In this week of "The Good Wife," Alicia eagerly awaits the results of voting day, while Diane argues abortion and possibly lands a big money client.

Here's what you need to know from last night's episode, entitled "Red Meat":

Apparently Justin Bieber's heartfelt apology did not mollify all the irate victims of his many shenanigans. Bieber's neighbor, Jeff Schwartz, whose house was previously egged by Bieber, is suing the naughty singer. This time, Schwartz is claiming unspecified damages for assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and trespass.

Specifically, the lawsuit claims that Bieber's bodyguard once taunted Schwartz, calling him "little Jew boy."

Does Schwartz really have a claim against Bieber for intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED)?

Stop putting words in my mouth! Is it legal to quote someone for something that they never said?

Kendall Jenner wants to know. The reality-TV star is upset that Us Weekly quoted her as saying about her father Bruce Jenner: "He's a wonderful man. And just because he's changing shoes now, so to speak, doesn't make him less wonderful. I will always love my dad, whether he's a man or a woman." Kendall claims she never said that, and wants to know whether it's illegal for a magazine to publish a false quote.

So, what's the answer?

Hubris caused the downfall of many Greek heroes. And after years of eluding investigators, it seems Robert Durst's hubris may have landed him behind bars.

Robert Durst, once heir to one of New York's real estate dynasties, has lived under the watchful eye of law enforcement since the disappearance of his wife Kathleen in 1982. Since then, he has been suspected of killing a friend in Los Angeles in 2000, and shooting and dismembering a neighbor in Texas in 2001. Durst was acquitted of the murder in Texas; he was never arrested for the disappearance of his wife or the death of his friend.

But that changed on Saturday, when Durst was arrested in connection with his friend's murder in L.A. How? He allegedly confessed! Well, kind of. After filming a documentary about his life, Durst, still wearing a wireless microphone, went to the restroom. There, he whispered to himself, "What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course."

Do prosecutors now have a smoking gun? Can anything he said be used against him in a court of law?

For this week's episode of "The Good Wife," the show once again turned to real life for inspiration. Diane and Finn, representing a victim of a misfired gun, sued the designer of the 3-D printed gun, instead of the actual shooter of the gun.

Here's what you need to know from last night's episode, entitled "Open Source":

R&B singer Angie Stone has been arrested and charged with aggravated domestic assault after an altercation with her daughter.

Stone, whose real name is Angela Brown, was arrested Monday after a fight with her daughter Diamond Stone. The two women were allegedly arguing over Diamond's kids running around the house when the fight broke out. Diamond claimed Angie hit her in the face with a metal stand, knocking out some teeth; both women were taken to the police station. Diamond was released, but Angie was booked and charged with felony aggravated domestic assault.

What is aggravated domestic assault, and what could happen to this angry mom?

The jury in the lawsuit over Pharrell and Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" found the song stole elements from Marvin Gaye's "Got to Give It Up." Now the duo owe Gaye's children $7.3 million in combined damages and a share of profits from the newer song.

The jury award is the largest in a copyright infringement case, and critics wonder if it might have a chilling effect on the way new music is created.

Smooth rock duo Hall & Oates are suing a Brooklyn food company that's selling "Haulin' Oats" granola, claiming it violates their trademark moniker.

Not only did Early Bird Foods name one of their six granola flavors after Daryl Hall and John Oates, but they offered a coupon code, "SayItIsntSo," after the rock and soul singers' 1983 hit song.

Maybe the show's directors got a little bored, or maybe it was the laryngitis medicine Alicia Florrick was taking that made last night's "The Good Wife" so trippy. Either way, we were lucky to get an hour-long peek into the lead character's head and a glimpse at her thought process as she makes her biggest life, career, and legal decisions.

Here's what you need to know from last night's episode, entitled "Mind's Eye":

A federal judge has ruled that actor/comedian Louis C.K. failed to pay health and pension contributions related to his work on his TV show "Louie."

Those payments were supposed to go from Louis C.K. (the producer) to three motion-picture industry health and retirement benefit plans on behalf of Louis C.K. (the editor).

Because Louis C.K. wears so many hats to make "Louie," the circumstances are a bit convoluted. So let's see if we can suss out what's going on here, legally speaking.

Police have arrested a man believed to have stabbed and killed one member of Nicki Minaj's tour crew and wounded another.

After a late night brawl in Philadelphia last month, two of Minaj's crew members were walking a bar employee to her car when they were attacked. De'Von Pickett, 29, was stabbed in his heart and stomach and died; a second crew member is still in the hospital with stab wounds to his back. The alleged attacker, Pierce Boykin, 31, faces numerous charges, including murder and attempted murder.

What will prosecutors need to prove in order to secure a conviction, and does Boykin have any possible defenses?

Don't you just love that one line in Taylor Swift's song so much that you want to put it on a T-shirt? Be careful, because you may soon be infringing on her trademark.

Taylor Swift recently applied to trademark several phrases from her "1989" album, including "Party like it's 1989," "This sick beat," "Cause we never go out of style," "Could show you incredible things," and "Nice to meet you, where you been."

If Swift is successful in her trademark applications, she'll be "the first musician to stake this kind of claim on words," Forbes reports. Why is she doing this?

Did Colin Sweeney kill his wife? "The Good Wife" does a twist on "ripped-from-the-headlines" TV shows with extensive courtroom scenes from Sweeney's defamation lawsuit which morphs into yet another attempt at determining his guilt.

Here's what you need to know from last night's episode, entitled "Dark Money":