Costner v. Baldwin
It could have been a real-life Hollywood story—two celebrities joining forces to clean up a devastating oil spill. Instead, the one-time partnership between Kevin Costner and Stephen Baldwin has soured into a bitter, multimillion-dollar courtroom battle.
You wouldn’t think that a man who willingly goes by the moniker “Johnny Bananas” would be overly concerned about his good name. But the former MTV reality star—whose real name is John Devenanzio—sued HBO last year, claiming the producers of the network’s hit show “Entourage” had tarnished his reputation and caused him “tremendous emotional distress” when they introduced the character of a cartoon gorilla named “Johnny Bananas.” Devenanzio sought compensatory and punitive damages and an injunction against any episodes featuring the character. HBO countered that nicknames are not protected under New York law and that there was no connection between Devenanzio and an animated ape.
Nobody likes an unwanted spoiler, but Warner Bros. took this dislike one step further, suing a reality TV blogger who makes a living by revealing the endings to popular shows. A Warner Bros.-owned production company sued Steve “Reality Steve” Carbone for tortious interference, claiming that he offered to pay former contestants on ABC’s “The Bachelor” in exchange for information about the show’s key plot points.
The good news (for her, at least) is that Paris Hilton got some extra publicity this week; the bad news is that it was inside a Manhattan courtroom. The heiress appeared in federal court Monday to settle a lawsuit with an Italian lingerie company. In 2010, Hilton reportedly signed an agreement to launch her own lingerie collection with Le Bonitas, but the deal later fell through when Hilton failed to approve the company’s proposed designs.