Celebrity Justice - The FindLaw Celebrities and The Law Blog

January 2016 Archives

Caitlyn Jenner Settles Lawsuit With Crash Victim's Family

Caitlyn Jenner has settled a negligence lawsuit with the stepchildren of a woman who was killed in a car crash she was part of last year, Variety reports. Kim Howe's family sued Jenner for negligence last May, saying her reckless driving caused the three-car crash in which another woman was also injured.

But after prosecutors declined to charge Jenner with vehicular manslaughter, the family's claims seemed less likely to succeed. Indeed, the settlement announced this week is reportedly for a "modest amount," writes TMZ. But the story is not totally over yet.

Lawsuit Blames Hollywood Talent Management Cartel for Diversity Woes

You may have heard of a lawsuit against Hollywood's major talent agencies, blaming them for stifling diversity. But discrimination is not the real claim in the lawsuit, The Hollywood Reporter complains.

Bruce Lenhoff, an agent, sued major talent management agencies last year -- his competition -- for poaching his clients. Since filing, he has amended his complaint to allege discrimination results from lack of competition, a conspiracy by a cartel in Hollywood. But some say it's just a way for an antitrust suit to dress up as a case about discrimination, a timely topic in light of the "#OscarsSoWhite" scandal making headlines.

Celebrity Spotlight: Divorce and Custody Battles

Sometimes we can get the impression that celebrities are very special, maybe not quite mortal. But when it comes to divorce, the stars often prove themselves to be decidedly normal.

Just like other couples, the rich and famous squabble over support and child custody. Unlike the rest of us, however, celebrities can often afford protracted legal battles. Let's take a look at some celebrity divorces and custody battles in the spotlight recently.

Jay-Z Sued for $20M in Cologne Contract Claim

Jay-Z is familiar with the sweet smell of success, and when he gives a product his blessing, it's likely to sell. It is easy then to get the impression from the hip-hop superstar's range of interests, and his riches, that everything Jay-Z touches turns to gold.

Not so. Even Jay-Z can't avoid promotions. And his failure to promote on behalf of Gold Jay-Z cologne, made by Parlux Fragrances, prompted the company to sue him for $20 million in New York state court in Manhattan today, reports Gossip Cop.

Is Coffee Club's George Clooney Clone Ad Fair Use?

George Clooney is at the center of a hot dispute between two coffee makers in Israel. Nespresso Israel is suing the Israeli Espresso Club for using a Clooney look-alike in ads. Nespresso's got the genuine article, the actor himself peddling its wares.

Nespresso sued the Espresso Club for its ads showing a Clooney clone learning the advantages of membership in the Club, a wink at the original Nespresso ad. The Coffee Club says its ads are a parody, and therefore fair use, and they do bear a disclaimer.

A whistleblowing former employee filed a lawsuit against Dr. Phil alleging the popular talk show host imprisoned 300 workers and launched into a profane tirade over a leaked story. Leah Rothman claims Dr. Phil McGraw had guards lock employees of the show in a room and threatened them, saying, "If you f*** with me, I'll f*** with you."

Rothman is suing for false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, whistleblower retaliation, and wrongful termination. And the details contained in her allegations certainly paint Dr. Phil in a less-than-jovial light.

Hollywood Studios Sued for Missing Song Captions in Movies

Hollywood studios are moving to dismiss a case that claims captioning for the hearing impaired fails the deaf by omitting song lyrics. The studios say they have creative discretion. The plaintiffs argue that the lack of lyrics deprives the deaf of a film's full meaning and is a civil rights violation.

If you are not hard of hearing and watch movies with the captioning on anyway, as some of us do, you will soon see the plaintiff's point. Film and television captioning tends to be spotty even putting the lyrics issue aside. But the jury is still out on whether inferior captioning is illegal or just unfair.

American Pie Singer-Songwriter Arrested for Domestic Violence

Don McLean, the singer and writer of the classic hit song 'American Pie,' was arrested for domestic violence on Monday. According to his wife, Patrisha McLean -- who apparently shares his poetic inclinations -- 'this is not much ado about nothing.'

In response to reporter requests for further comment on the arrest of her husband, she cited Shakespeare and wrote only that she could not say anything more at the moment, according to the New York Daily News. McLean, who lives in Camden, Maine was arrested on a charge of misdemeanor domestic violence and released on bail.

Goodbye presidential campaign, hello interpersonal drama, client hookups, and legal wrangling.

With Peter's bid for the White House officially over, we return to the courtroom, conference rooms, and Alicia's living room to tackle the important issues of the day: whether Alicia can keep running her mini-firm out of her apartment, whether she'll ever forgive Eli, and whether "Good Morning, Magic Sunshine" sounds too much like "Moony Moonkykins." Here's what you need to know about the legal issues in last night's episode, entitled "Tracks."

Manager Mom Responds to Supermodel Hilary Rhoda's Lawsuit

Supermodel Hilary Rhoda sued her mother and former manager in 2014, claiming mom pilfered millions from her personal accounts. Now, her mom has counterclaimed, denying all of the allegations and saying that her daughter breached her management contract, reports People.

The model's filings make some very serious allegations of financial fraud. Not only did mom use Hilary's money and credit cards for her own personal use, but she also forged her kid's signature, according to court documents.

Backstreet Boy Nick Carter Arrested in Key West for Bar Fight

The Backstreet Boys' Nick Carter was arrested yesterday for what is being called a bar fight in Key West, Florida. But police refuse to reveal what Carter did wrong and even a manager at the bar where the incident allegedly occurred is resisting the urge to share the news with local radio WILD's Gossip Cop, which reported the arrest.

The pop and reality TV show star was at the Hog's Breath Saloon in Key West when a dispute erupted. It seems likely that Carter was in a fight of some kind but details are unknown and it does not take too much to pick up a battery charge in Florida.

Chatting With El Chapo: Was Sean Penn's Secret Meeting a Crime?

When an actor working as a reporter visits a wanted fugitive to talk about making a biopic, is it a crime? The question presents itself because last week Mexican officials arrested drug kingpin Joaquin Guzman, known as El Chapo, and the next day Rolling Stone published an account of a secret meeting between the fugitive and Sean Penn.

The clandestine meeting took place in October, while law enforcement agents were still hunting El Chapo down. Now the drug kingpin is in custody in Mexico and many are wondering whether Sean Penn could be next. Did he break the law by meeting with El Chapo?

50 Cent Sues Rick Ross for Copyright Infringement

Rapper 50 Cent, or Curtis Jackson, is suing his longtime rival Rick Ross for copyright infringement, according to TMZ. This lawsuit is part of a series of musical, legal, and personal battles between the two that spans years and has gotten 50 in some pretty serious trouble recently.

Now 50 Cent is saying Rick Ross, or William Roberts, infringed his copyright for the hit "In Da Club," using it without permission to freestyle jabs at 50 Cent when the song's creator lost a lawsuit. To really understand this story, we must go back to the beginning of this rivalry.

French Artist Orlan Takes Lady Gaga Plagiarism Suit to NY

Pop diva Lady Gaga seems pretty independently creative. But she is being sued for copying another apparently creative lady. A French artist claims that Gaga got the idea to put bumps in her face in a 2011 music video from Orlan's "carnal art" projects.

Orlan sued Gaga for plagiarizing her work, according to Page Six, claiming 7.5 percent of profits from Gaga's "Born This Way" album, or $31.7 million. Orlan's attorneys intend to subpoena Gaga's creative team in New York and question them about the styling of the video, which Orlan says is a copy of her life's work, her carnal art.

We're back! And Alicia is back out on the campaign trail with Peter. But it was a rocky road, given the state her relationship with Eli was in at the end of the fall season.

Amidst the caucus chaos there were some pretty straightforward plot points back home: Peter's mother is negotiating her prenuptial agreement with Howard Lyman, and Lockhart, Agos and Lee are facing employment discrimination charges. Here's a look at the legal aspects of last night's episode, entitled "Iowa."

Sandra Bullock Adopts Child out of Foster Care

Sandra Bullock has adopted a second child. She spoke to People about her daughter, Laila, who had been in foster care in Louisiana, and her son Louis, 5, who was adopted in 2010.

"I can tell you absolutely, the exact right children came to me at the exact right time," Bullock said. "My family is blended and diverse, nutty, and loving and understanding. That's a family."

Jenner Sister T-Shirts Inspire Lawsuit and Settlement

Kendall and Kylie Jenner's PacSun t-shirts were removed from stores this week and a lawsuit with Island Company has been settled, according to the Daily Mail. The famous fashionable sisters "created" a t-shirt for PacSun with an inspiring slogan that seems to be a truncated version of a campaign popularized by the Island Company already.

Resort clothing brand Island Company sued the sisters, arguing that their t-shirts would dilute the Island Company brand and cause confusion. The brand is said to be popular with Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, and Cameron Diaz. PacSun removed the shirts from stores but there was no word from the company or the sisters on the intellectual property dispute or the settlement.

Bill Cosby's wife, Camille, will have to testify in the civil lawsuit against him. Camille, who is also the actor and comedian's business manager, had asked the court to throw out the subpoena requiring her to give a deposition in the defamation suit filed by seven women against her husband.

What happened to one spouse not being forced to testify against another? Does the spousal privilege apply to civil lawsuits?

Madonna and Guy Ritchie Dispute Son's Custody

Pop goddess Madonna is struggling with her former husband, filmmaker Guy Ritchie, over the custody of their son Rocco, according to Us Weekly. The mother of 4, who lost her own mother at an early age, is allegedly very upset about the fact that her son has remained in London with his father despite court orders to return to New York.

She reportedly plans to continue to take legal action to get him back but neither Madonna's nor Ritchie's representatives would comment on the family feud to reporters. It is also not clear from media reports just how long Rocco has been gone. But what is claimed is that he stayed with his dad in London over the holidays when he was supposed to be in the United States with his mother, Madonna.