Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Post Oscar Celebrity Legal Briefs

With the glow of Oscars fading in the west, it's reality check time. Oh yes, even the stars have their share of legal woes. Submitted for your approval, a sampling of today's civil matters in the world of entertainment

In the "Here We Go Again" department, Pamela Anderson is seeking an annulment from husband number "I can't keep track anymore" Rick Salomon. Can't imagine why the Baywatch babe is claiming fraud, although what did she expect getting married on a whim?

Jessica Seinfeld's ex, Eric Nederlander, is a two-time loser. He's agreed to vacate the "hate nest" of wife number two just weeks after the birth of their first child. Apparently, Number Two's training as a child psychologist was all for naught.

The sad saga of Britney Spears will remain in state court. An attorney claiming to represent the embattled pop princess tried to move the case to federal court by alleging violation of her constitutional rights. By the time all the lawyers are done picking apart this pie, there may not be much fame and fortune left for her to squander.

The Maccas have been told to clear their calendars for March 17th. That's when a British judge is tenatively scheduled to award Heather Mills a financial settlement in the couple's hotly contested divorce. Sir Paul had hoped to keep the lid on the details, but refused to buckle to m'lady's demands. A public airing of their dirty laundry will likely occur when the judge issues his final ruling.

After having his day in court on charges of defamation, paparazzo Jamie Fawcett was ordered to pay legal fees to the Sun-Herald. A jury found the newspaper liable for defamation, however, the paper called Nicole Kidman as a witness and successfully established it had only reported the truth.
A bank is foreclosing Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch. The King of Pop has until March 19th to pay off an overdue balance of about $25M.

Rambo wants revenge. Anthony Pellicano, the private investigator scheduled to go on trial for illegally wiretapping the phones of celebrities, intercepted Sylvester Stallone's private calls in February 2002. Although settled, the interceptions occurred about the same time Stallone sued his former business manager over losses related to the Planet Hollywood restaurant chain.

Alfred Beardsley, the memorabilia dealer caught up in the O.J. Simpson snafu, filed suit against Thomas Riccio, the mastermind behind the Simpson TMZ video. Beardsley is claiming unspecified damages for invasion of privacy, fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and unjust enrichment. In September, 2007, Simpson and friends raided Beardsley's Las Vegas hotel room and seized several items Simpson claimed as his own. Criminal charges remain pending.

The John Ritter wrongful death trial is now in its fourth week. The beloved actor's survivors are suing a cardiologist and radiologist for $67M. Many tearfully testified about Ritter's sudden demise, including then co-star Katey Sagal, son Jason Ritter, and personal assistant Jessica Pilch-Samuel.

Countering a copyright case filed by video game maker Capcom, producers of the Dawn of the Dead films are fighting back. MKR President and chief shareholder Richard Rubinstein believes Capcom's Dead Rising video game is a knock-off of key plot elements in the popular movie franchise.

Producer's of America's Hot Musician, the non-profit organization American Youth Symphony, filed suit against Canadian all-female metal band "Kittie" for $5M. Countering show related threats of legal retaliation, the producers hit back claiming tortious interference with business practices, fraud and libel.

R.I.P. William F. Buckley, sage political commentator, dead at the age of 82.