It’s nothing new in our over litigious society. If someone has money and is highly recognizable their best friend should be a lawyer because they will be spending plenty of free time with them. Some of the most prominent celebrity court cases involve relationships gone bad while other cases look to throw a celebrity under the bus to get into their deep pockets. Whenever a court case has a celebrity name attached it becomes magnified.
1) One of the earliest and most ground breaking celebrity cases in history was Lee Marvin vs Michelle Triola Marvin. The case is most famous because the two were living together and not married. The case became known as Palimony and is now referenced in court houses all over the country on a daily basis. The case catapulted Marvin Mitchelson into the spotlight as a renowned divorce attorney and he later represented many celebrities in similar cases.
2) Tom Cruise was named in a $250 million dollar lawsuit against the Church of Scientology as the reputed right hand man to David Miscavage the leader of the church. The suit being brought forward by former member Peter Letterese is pursuing racketeering charges among other allegations. According to the New York Daily News, Letterese said in court documents that the church is a “crime syndicate”. Letterese has already lost a similar suit in California and was fined $266,000 for failing to provide proof of his allegations.
3) One of the nastiest divorce cases between celebrities was the Woody Allen vs Mia Farrow lawsuit. It was brought out that Allen was a pedophile and had dated his step daughter Soon Yi since she was 14. He is still with her today. Mia farrow gained custody of the three remaining children.
4) Sharon Osbourne is facing a lawsuit over this exchange that occurred on her TV set Rock of Love Charm School. Osbourne in fact says after the incident, ” she can sue me if she wants.” The girl had made a derogatory comment about Sharon’s husband Ozzy. This is the you tube video of the incident: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ln6LRCIl_AU.
5) Joe Francis of Girls Gone Wild video fame was leaving the courthouse after avoiding jail time for tax evasion for one lawsuit and was promptly served with papers from a judgment against him for 2 million dollars plus 18% interest. The lawsuit was won by the Wynn Casino in Las Vegas for markers that Francis signed for and did not pay back, according to radaronline.com Normally markers are paid at the conclusion of your trip.
6) Oprah Winfrey was recently slapped with two lawsuits in one week. One by an audience member who was injured when the doors opened for a taping of the show and the crowd stampeded. The other suit by a Boston mother claiming intellectual rights to Oprah’s show Oprah’s Big Give.
7) Jerry Seinfeld and his wife were embroiled in a very public suit. US District Judge Laura Taylor Swain said Jessica Seinfeld’s book, “Deceptively Delicious,” and plaintiff Missy Chase Lapine’s best seller, “The Sneaky Chef,” have similar ideas but it was like comparing apples to oranges. Seinfeld cranked up the rhetoric pre-trial by going on David Letterman and discussing the case. Seinfeld called Lapine “a wacko” and said “If you read history many of the three named people do became assassins” No word if Lapine is going to have a second lawsuit based on those comments. Don’t bet against it.
8) Fear not my lawyer friends. Michael Jackson may be dead but his lawsuits will live on through his estate for years to come. Michael Jackson spent more time in courthouses in his life than he did on stage performing. From lawsuits from trademark infringement to suits involving not delivering an album on time. Then there were lawsuits and almost lawsuits involving young children. There may be more than a few lawyers laid off when the cases finally dry up.
9) The OJ Simpson civil trial was a significant trial based on the fact that Simpson was actually found responsible for the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. The burden of proof in a civil trial is less than a criminal trial. Simpson currently is in a Las Vegas jail for kidnapping and armed robbery.
10) Jon and Kate Gosselin not only are dealing with a divorce but Jon Gosselin has now been served with a lawsuit by TLC also.
The bottom line is celebrities are easy targets for lawsuits and until some laws are changed billions of our own tax dollars will be lost accommodating these mostly frivolous lawsuits.