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Chicago’s Civil Lawsuit Against Jussie Smollett Could Be Dismissed

7 Sep

Jussie Smollett‘s lawyers have filed a motion to dismiss a civil lawsuit against him seeking $130K.

Its no secret that actor Jussie Smollett best known for his leading role on the television series Empire, has been accused of making up an elaborate story of being the victim of an attack outside his apartment in Chicago by two men who allegedly had on MAGA caps. Two hunky Nigerian aspiring actors later admitted that they were the MAGA guys but claimed they were put up to the whole thing by Smollett himself.

Criminal charges stemming from the incident were dropped back in March after Cook County’s top prosecutor, Kim Foxx declined to prosecute the actor after Jussie forfeited his $10,000 bond and agreed to perform community service. However, the City of Chicago continued its public campaign to derail the actor, with everyone from the mayor to police chief holding press conferences shaming the actor for allegedly filing a false police report. (Even if true, he wouldn’t have been the first person of privilege to file a false police report, and he certainly won’t be the last.)

Then Mayor Rahm Emanuel called it a “whitewash of justice” and suggested Smollett received special treatment: “You cannot have, because of a person’s position, one set of rules apply to them and another set of rules apply to everybody else.”

Donald Trump Tweets About Jussie Smollett

Even US President Donald Trump threw in his 3 cents, tweeting: “FBI & DOJ to review the outrageous Jussie Smollett case in Chicago. It is an embarrassment to our Nation!” ABC7 Chicago reported that the “FBI is reviewing the circumstances surrounding the dismissal of criminal charges.” According to TMZ, the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police filed a complaint with the Department of Justice.

The actor was later fired from Empire. To make matters worse, the city of Chicago sued the Jussie Smollett seeking reimbursement for the $130K they spent vigorously investigating the alleged hoax attack.  The Chicago Police Department claims to have logged 1,836 hours in overtime trying to resolve the case.

Lawyers for the actor are now asserting that while Smollett is not admitting he staged the incident,  the decision to spend so much time and resources investigating is squarely on law enforcement.

“My client from the beginning has maintained his innocence and disputed the city’s allegations,” said William J. Quinlan, of The Quinlan Law Firm, who filed the motion. He noted that “it’s going to be very difficult for the city to prevail in making a case my client should pay for overtime for a case ultimately dismissed by the state’s attorney.

“It’s ridiculous and a stretch to require him to do so.” “This lawsuit was only filed by the former mayor … out of frustration for the state’s attorney dismissing the charges,” said Quinlan.

U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall, who is hearing the case, said she will rule in October on whether the city could move forward with its lawsuit to redeem the costs.

 

‘Girls Gone Wild’ Producer Sued Again

13 Mar

Girls Gone Wildvideo producer Mantra Films  is being sued after it allegedly stiffed its Oklahoma lawyer for over $300,000 in legal fees, according to a suit filed in Superior Court in Riverside County, Calif.


“Girls Gone Wild” founder and Mantra Films owner Joe Francis is not named as a party in the lawsuit.
Mantra allegedly refused to pay lawyer Brian Rayment of Kivell, Rayment and Francis because the law firm declined to take undisclosed actions with regard to a trust to which Francis was a beneficiary.
Mantra fraudulently induced the firm to represent it and never intended to pay for its services or out-of-pocket expenses, according to the complaint.
Rayment wants compensatory damages of $312,686.53 and punitive damages of not less than $625,000.

The video empire was also sued in 2010 by a video equipment rental company, CIT who alleged Mantra Films owed them $233,588 in over due bills….

Read More on EntLawDigest…

Jay-Z and Kanye West Settle ‘Watch the Throne’ Copyright Lawsuit

12 Mar

Kanye West and Jay-Z have settled a federal lawsuit brought against them last year by Syl Johnson, a singer and producer who had accused the rappers of lifting one of his songs.

Last October Johnson sued, arguing that the song ‘Watch the Throne’  was infringing on his copyrighted material as West and Jay-Z hadn’t cleared the portions of his 1967 R&B hit ‘Different Strokes’ sampled in their song ‘The Joy.’

According to AOL’s The Boombox, both sides agreed to a settlement, and the suit was officially dropped.

No word yet on the specific dollar amount.

Chef Mario Batali settles lawsuit for $5 million

8 Mar

Celebrity chef Mario Batali and his business partner have agreed to pay $5.25 million to settle a lawsuit that alleged they confiscated a portion of their restaurant workers’ tips.

According to court papers filed in Manhattan federal court, the settlement may compensate as many as 1,100 waiters, captains and other staffers.

The settlement must still be approved by a judge.

The lawsuit against Batali and Joseph Bastianich was filed in 2010. It claimed their restaurants had a policy of deducting 4 to 5 percent from the tip pool at the end of each night.

Lawyers for both sides said the matter was resolved to the satisfaction of all parties.

Batali’s Manhattan restaurants include Babbo, Bar Jamon and Del Posto.

 

Source: Associated Press

 

Kardahsians Sued for $5Million After Endorsing QuickTrim Diet Pills Plaintiffs Say Don’t Work

2 Mar

Khloe kardashian bikini

The Kardashian sisters are being sued by a bunch of people in New York who claim there’s no POSSIBLE way QuickTrim could’ve helped Kim, Khloe and Kourtney lose weight … because the main ingredient is caffeine. According to the legal court documents, “The FDA has determined [caffeine] is not a safe or effective treatment for weight control.”

According to the lawsuit, filed in NY by Bursor & Fisher, the Kardashians fed lies to the public through commercials, magazines and social media since 2009 by being paid spokespersons for QuickTrim … like when Kim went on Twitter and said, “Our QuickTrim cleanse will be massive! Khloe has already lost so much weight.”

The plaintiffs claim they would NEVER have purchased the QuickTrim products if they would have known the truth … and claim the Kardashian testimonials were completely unsubstantiated.

Now, the Kardashians, QuickTrim and various companies that sold the products are being sued for more than $5 million in damages.

Read More on the lawsuit on TMZ….

AEG dropped from negligence lawsuit filed by Michael Jackson’s father

22 Feb

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The promoters of what was to be Michael Jackson’s 2009 comeback tour won a round in court today when a judge granted a motion to dismiss the company from a lawsuit filed by the singer’s father.

“This was a major victory,” AEG Live attorney Marvin Putnam said of Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazuelos’ ruling.

The decision leaves Jackson’s former physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, and Applied Pharmacy Services in Las Vegas as the remaining defendants.

Joe Jackson’s attorney, Maureen Jaroscak, downplayed the significance of the ruling, saying it was only a temporary setback. She said her client is a “nominal party” in a separate case filed against AEG Live by his wife, Katherine Jackson, but that he was never served with it. Jaroscak said Joe Jackson could now file an answer to his wife’s complaint and become a party to the case.

Joe Jackson alleged AEG Live was negligent in hiring Murray. He also alleges Applied Pharmacy Services sold Murray propofol the month before the singer’s June 25, 2009, death at age 50.
Lawyers for AEG have denied any wrongdoing by their client, which organized the sold-out London concert tour for which the entertainer was preparing in Los Angeles when he died.
Murray was convicted Nov. 7 of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson’s death and sentenced to four years in prison.

Attorneys for AEG Live questioned in court papers whether 83-year-old Joe Jackson is a lawful heir to the King of Pop under the state’s wrongful death statute, noting that Joe Jackson said in interviews that his son never supported him financially.
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The singer was frank about his relationship with his father, the AEG Live court papers stated.
“At the time Michael Jackson died, (his father) was estranged from his son, who repeatedly and publicly accused him of physical and other abuse,” according to the AEG Live court papers.
But the lawyers said that, even if Joe Jackson could show he was an heir, he should have included his claims within the negligence case against AEG Live brought in September 2010 by Katherine Jackson two months before he filed his own case.

“The law is well-established that all plaintiffs must join together in a single wrongful death action against any given defendant,” the AEG Live court papers stated. “AEG Live will not speculate as to why (Joe Jackson) was not joined in, and did not seek to join, Mrs. Jackson’s lawsuit.”

Joe Jackson could still try and become a party to his wife’s case, the AEG Live court papers stated. If he can prove that Katherine Jackson’s lawyers improperly left him out of her case, he can ask for damages against her, according to the AEG Live court papers.

In her nine-page ruling, Palazuelos agreed with Putnam that there should be only one wrongful death action and not two.

“Allowing Joseph Jackson to continue with his subsequent suit against AEG Live, alleging the same wrongful death claims as the related case, would contravene the purpose of the one-action rule,” Palazuelos wrote. “Indeed, plaintiff’s interpretation of the one-action rule would allow the heirs of a decedent to file as many suits as there are heirs.”

The judge reiterated her position during the hearing.

“I don’t think there’s any way around this,” she said. “You can’t maintain a concurrent action.”
Palazuelos scheduled trial of Joseph Jackson’s suit for Jan. 28 next year. Palazuelos also is managing Katherine Jackson’s case, which is set for trial Sept. 10.

Katherine Jackson alleges in her suit that AEG Live is responsible for medical decisions made by Murray.

Source: LA.com

Singer, Akon Sued Over $51k Construction Bill

21 Feb

Akon, akon with white background, akon shirtlessAkon is up to his neck in $51,000 of construction bills on his Georgia mansion … and he still hasn’t paid up — this according to a new lawsuit filed by a local contracting company.

According to celebrity gossip site, TMZ, Southern Electric filed the lawsuit against Akon in Georgia Superior Court, claiming it completed over $344,000 of work on Akon’s place — electric work, framing, molding — but he refused to pay $51,941 on their final invoice.

According to the legal documents filed, Southern Electric contacted Akon’s mommy last November … not just to tattle, but because his mother was acting as his agent in the deal … but still, S.E. has not received a dime.

They’re now suing for breach of contract for the amount allegedly owed, plus interest.

FYI — Akon’s Georgia palace is a two-story four-bedroom, eight-bath model that he reportedly paid 1.65 million dollars for.

Former Manager Sues Rap Duo, New Boyz

20 Feb

New Boyz

The former managers of rap duo New Boyz say the rappers owe $100,000 for breaching a management contract.

According to EntLawDigest, Introspect Entertainment entered into a management contract with rappers New Boyz in February 2011, and under the terms of the contract, the company was required to manage the rappers until their second album was completed and promoted.

But, New Boyz allegedly tried to end the management agreement before the second album was finished, and refused to pay Introspect money it is owed.

Introspect claims it has lost $100,000 from the breach.

The company sued in Los Angeles Superior Court for breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and a judgment declaring that New Boyz owes past and future commissions. Introspect is represented by Hayes Michel of Baker & Hostetler.

Source: Entlawdigest

Drake sued by alleged ex-girlfriend over ‘Marvin’s Room’ royalties

3 Feb

A woman claiming to be the ex-girlfriend of the hip-hop/R&B star says she is the person on the other end of the phone call heard on his hit “Marvin’s Room,” which was released last year.

Now Ericka Lee is suing Drake for excluding her from co-writer royalties she says she earned through their collaboration on the hit, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Lee claims in the suit that Drake agreed to work on the song and split the proceeds. She says she was supposed to record the song’s hook and an opening monologue.

But six weeks later, Drake and his record company changed their tune and instead Drake texted her offering 2% of song royalties, according to the report.

The two, by then, had split and Drake seemed angry when Lee hired a lawyer.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/music-arts/drake-sued-alleged-ex-girlfriend-marvin-room-royalties-article-1.1016669#ixzz1lLKUfMY0

Whitney Houston Wins Lawsuit Against Her Step-Mom

31 Jan

R&B Superstar Whitney Houston recently claimed victory in the Federal Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in a sometimes-ugly lawsuit against the woman who married her father.  That step-mother, Barbara Houston, had sued Whitney back in 2008.   When Whitney’s father, John, died in 2003, Whitney received one million dollars as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy.

According to Forbes Magazine, Barbara felt that money was really meant to benefit her.  Whitney had lent her father a great deal of money, some of it to buy a house that John lived in with Barbara.  When John Houston died, Barbara inherited the house.  Because of that particular loan, Whitney owned the mortgage on the house.

Barbara claimed the life insurance money was meant to repay Whitney for that mortgage.  When Whitney refused to credit the life insurance money against the mortgage, Barbara sued.

Whitney was not pleased.  She counter-sued, pointing out in a public court record that Barbara met her father while she was a “custodial care service worker” (in other words, a “maid”), cleaning his house.  Barbara was 40 years younger thanWhitney’s dad and starting dating him when he was still married to Whitney’s mother.  Whitney also brought up the fact that John and Barbara were married shortly after he divorced Whitney’s mother.

As part of this lawsuit, Whitney also sought a judgment for the mortgage to be repaid, with interest, which totaled about $1.6 million by then.

Barbara and her lawyers brought up several letters, written by various accountants.  They argued to the judge that these writings suggested the insurance policy really was meant to repay the mortgage.  The problem was that there never was a written agreement between John and Whitney Houston documenting this, and everyone from Whitney’s camp denied they had an agreement. Instead, Whitney pointed out that she lent her father lots of money, and this insurance policy meant to repay other loans, not the mortgage money.

The Judge agreed with Whitney and dismissed the lawsuit, without holding a trial, in late 2010.  Barbara filed an appeal. Late last month, the Federal Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal and upheld Whitney’s victory.  This ruling clears the way for Whitney to proceed with foreclosing on the house.

Read More: http://www.forbes.com/sites/trialandheirs/2012/01/30/whitney-houston-denies-shes-broke-wins-lawsuit-vs-step-mom/2/

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