Tag Archives: Famous Lawsuits

Celebrity Defamation: Dance Mom v. Dance Maven

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Gather round celebrity defamation fans; another reality show slander suit is afoot! I’m always skeptical of these cases, because one can’t help but wonder, “Is it for real or ratings?” But alas, our law demands assumptions of innocence. So, let’s take a look at the reality show defamation case of Dance Mom v. Dance Coach. [Insert Law and Order beats]. A ‘Dance Mom’ Stunt Results In A Celebrity Defamation Suit The fracas began when Abby Lee and Kelly got “up in each other’s’ grillz” (tm Lucy Watson) at a dance competition in the Bronx. The show was being taped for their reality show, “Dance Moms.” Apparently, shouts were hurled and slaps exchanged. In the end, someone [*cough* realityshowproducers *cough*] called the police and Hyland ended up turning herself in – though she was never handcuffed. As is the case with ...
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A-Rod’s Lawyer Files Multi-Defendant Defamation Suit

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One of A-Rod’s lawyers, Joseph Tacopina, filed a defamation lawsuit against former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, two reporters for the New York Daily News and the paper itself. His complaint states that two reporters — Nathaniel Vinton and Michael O’Keefe — fabricated wrongdoings so that Keric would reprimand Tacopina. According to Tacopina, the writer duo then published a negative article about the incident. Tacopina’s complaint accuses the reporters of being unethical and convicted felon Keric of being a liar. Vinton and O’Keefe — who both had a reputation for shading A-rod — also wrote up a piece slamming Tacopina as an amoral attorney. To further thicken the plot, Kerik is a disgruntled former client of Tacopina’s law practice. Keric, who did time in federal prison for a Homeland Security scandal and tax fraud, is accused of trying ...
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Major Newspaper Says, “Oh, Don’t Pay Attention To Our Headlines.”

free speech
These days, thanks to the seminal 1964 New York Times Co. v. Sullivan ruling, it’s rare for a newspaper to lose a defamation lawsuit in the U.S. – but The New York Post may prove to be an exception to the rule. In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, before the responsible parties were identified, the Post covered their April 18th edition with a picture of 16-year-old Salaheddin Barhoum and 24-year old Yassine Zaimi. The words “BAG MEN” in bold type ran across the top, with the subheading, “Feds Seek These Two Pictured At Boston Marathon.” Unfortunately for the paper, the people pictured weren’t the bombers. They were two legal United States residents — who happen to be dark-complexioned. As you might imagine, they’re suing for libel, negligent infliction of emotional distress and false light invasion of privacy. Despite ...
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Reptilian Conspiracy Theorist Suing Google For Defamation

Be careful how much puffery you include in marketing material. Too much can land you in the clink.
Artist-turned-conspiracy theorist Uri Dowbenko filed a defamation lawsuit against Google. His chances of winning the case: pretty much nil. The E.Q. (entertainment quotient) of the lawsuit: very high. First, A Little About Uri When Uri Dowbenko entered the world 61 years ago, it’s doubtful his parents thought their son would become one of the more colorful conspiracy theorists in the world. But alas, such was the destiny of little Uri. Unafraid to take up for the outrageous, Mr. Dowbenko is both a believer in the “New Reptilian World Order” and progenitor of the “Pat Robertson is an undercover Satanist” theory. But Dowbenko is also an artist. And he’s even had some success around the South Beach area in the past. Lately, however, the art world has seemed to turn its back on Uri. And according to him, it’s all because ...
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August 2013: The Month In Defamation

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The world of defamation law has been active this August. Below are highlights from the most noteworthy, instructive and just plain funny slander and libel lawsuits from the past few weeks. The Ex-Boyfriend v. The Stripper-Turned-Doctor Across the pond, Owen Morris is suing his ex-girlfriend, Dr. Brooke Magnanti for defamation. You see, Dr. Magnanti was a sex worker while earning her PhD. In 2003, she started a blog called Belle de Jour which chronicled her life as a high-paid escort. As sometimes happens when the muses make an appearance, Magnanti’s blog manifested into a best-selling novel, which in turn became a popular television show. In 2009, married and working as a research scientist, Magnanti outed herself to the Times of London. That’s when Owen Morris lost his cool. Even though Magnanti only referred to him as “the boy” on her ...
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First High Profile Instagram Defamation Lawsuit? The Game v. The Governess

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Hip Hop artist and VH1 family reality show star, The Game, is feuding again, y’all. But G-Unit and 40 Glocc aren’t involved this time. Instead, The Game’s beefing with babysitter, Karen Monroe, and the battle ground is L.A. Superior Court. The issue at hand? Instagram defamation. This tale of social media woe began about a month ago. One day, while kibitzing with his comrade, Nas, over social media, The Game learned his fellow hip-hopper had hired caretaker Karen Monroe. Alarmed by the news, Game publicly informed his friend of Monroe’s tenure at La Casa Game. Via his Twitter and Instagram accounts, Game imputed Monroe, calling her a lying, stealing, child-abusing mess, tattling, “She was busted having sex with her boyfriend and leaving a used condom and the wrapper in my daughter’s room!!!” Then The Game got graphic. On Instagram, using ...
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Disgraced Politician Sued For Defamation By Finance Fat Cat

This defamation suit comes to us from the “disgraced politicians and the people who loathe them” file. Former New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer is being sued by Maurice” Hank” Greenberg for defamation of character. On Friday, July 12th, 2013, the Supreme Court in New York’s Putnam County accepted the defamation suit, just before the statute of limitation ran out. Hank Greenberg is accusing the now candidate for city comptroller with discrediting and damaging his reputation. The suit states that from 2004 to 2012, Mr. Spitzer exacted a campaign to build his own reputation by tearing down Mr. Greenberg’s. Hank and Eliot have a history. While Spitzer was the New York State Attorney General, he pointed a very large finger at Hank Greenberg, accusing him of accounting fraud and exaggerating AIG’s earnings. The accusations resulted in Greenberg’s 2005 resignation from ...
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Leslie Davis v. Jesse Ventura: Round 4,815,162,342

social media and juries
Some defamation lawsuits are laugh-inducing; others fall into the “on-a-very-special-episode” category. And at times, a libel lawsuit surfaces that makes you cringe. Entertainment wrestler, turned Minnesota Governor, turned conspiracy theorist Jesse Ventura’s lawsuit against Chris Kyle — a highly decorated Air, Sea and Land special ops (SEAL) solider — falls into the cringe-worthy camp. Jesse Ventura Sued Chris Kyle The story begins back in 2006. According to Kyle, he and Ventura met in a California bar where Ventura allegedly talked smack about the Navy SEALs. Being a proud SEAL himself, Kyle was not impressed with Ventura’s bluster, so he cold clocked the former Minnesota Governor. Ventura adamantly denied the event. As such, when the story appeared in Kyle’s autobiography, Ventura filed a good ole fashioned defamation suit. Litigation began, and then tragedy struck. Kyle was shot and killed by a ...
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A Defamation Tale That Would Make James Randi Cringe

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On this lazy Sunday, we’d thought we’d share an online defamation lawsuit gem from the “rile James Randi” file. A psychic named Sally Morgan – whom, according to her lawyer, “performed in over 600 shows in more than 100 different theatres or venues to audiences stretching into the hundreds of thousands” – successfully sued publishers of the Daily Mail for defamation. They said she duped an audience into believing she had supernatural powers; she insisted her skills are legit and decided to sue for libel. How Sally Morgan’s Psychic Defamation Case Began Do you remember that Steve Martin movie, Leap of Faith, where he plays a healer? In the flick, he has a team of “spotters” who gather information about the hopeful masses at his revival-type gatherings. When the show starts, the helpers feed Martin all the information they gathered ...
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The NYP Facing Serious Defamation Suit From “Bag Men”

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Two men whom the New York Post  labeled “Bag Men,” in a front-page photo shortly after April’s fatal Boston Marathon bomb attack, have sued the newspaper for libel. The New York Post reported a few days after the bombing that Federal investigators were seeking 16-year-old Salaheddin Barhoum and 24-year-old Yassine Zaimi. The story ran just hours before the FBI released photos of the actual suspects.  After the New York Post’s images had hit the Web, Barhoum and Zaimi went to the local police and pleaded their innocence. Law enforcement officials assured both they were not suspects in the case. Barhoum and Zaimi had gone to the Boston Marathon as spectators.  They left shortly after the winners crossed the finish line, which was about two hours before a pair of homemade pressure-cooker bombs exploded, killing three people and injuring more than ...
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