5 celebrity lawsuits in the news

Arianna Huffington trashes her apartment, Michael Keaton tanks a movie and more

Photo credit: David Shankbone

Demolished Digs

It’s a safe bet that Arianna Huffington won’t be getting her security deposit back, if a new suit accusing the media mogul of trashing her former New York City apartment is to be believed. Eric Steel, the owner of the $32,000-a-month Chelsea loft, claims that he told Huffington not to entertain in the apartment because of its “historical and aesthetic significance.” But Huffington allegedly disregarded those instructions, leaving behind “gouged, stained” walls, scratched hardwood floors, broken cabinets and even a bloody mattress.

Worst of all, Steel says, the Huffington Post founder damaged an “irreplaceable” dining room table designed by his architect father, Charles Gwathmey. Steel is suing Huffington for $275,000 in damages.

Suit Scandal

Kris Humphries had the misfortune of being briefly married to Kim Kardashian, and now the basketball player has a lawsuit to add to his woes. Scott Hill, the owner of a Beverly Hills suit shop, claims that he agreed to give Humphries a 30 percent discount, provided that he refer at least two of his fellow basketballers to the business. The Brooklyn Net took full advantage of the discount—buying more than $46,000 worth of threads—but never introduced any of his friends to the store, Hill says. The shop owner is now seeking more than $52,000 from Humphries, which includes $6,000 in unpaid bills.

Advanced Age

Age ain’t nothing but a number, except in Hollywood. At least, that’s what actress Huong Hoang claimed when she sued the online entertainment database IMDb in 2011 for publishing her real birthdate and “revealing to the public that [she] is many years older than she looks.”

Hoang says that IMDb, a subsidiary of Amazon Inc., learned her birthday from the credit card information she submitted when signing up for its IMDb Pro site. The 42-year-old actress, who is known professionally as Junie Hoang, claimed that her acting career suffered after prospective employers realized that she is significantly older than she looks. She sued the site for $1 million for breach of contract, violation of privacy and fraud, but a Seattle jury disagreed with her claims, ruling in favor of IMDb this week.

Livid Law

Actor Jude Law is burning mad at a fireplace manufacturer that allegedly used his image in ad campaigns without his consent. Toronto-based Paloform reportedly posted pictures of Law on its website and Facebook and Pinterest pages. The star says the company was simply trying to capitalize on his status as “one of the most recognized, highly regarded, critically acclaimed, and commercially valuable motion picture actors in the world.” He is suing Paloform for unspecified damages and has asked a judge to order the company to stop using his likeness.

Diva Director

Former “Batman” actor Michael Keaton was anything but heroic on the set of his directorial debut, according to a lawsuit filed by the film’s producers. Keaton took over the shooting of “The Merry Gentleman” after its original director suffered health problems, but his flaky behavior subsequently contributed to the film’s low box office gross, according to Merry Gentlemen LLC.

The company claims that it constructed editing facilities in California at Keaton’s request, only to have the director leave town to go fly-fishing in Montana. After they built a second editing studio in Bozeman, Mo., the producers say, Keaton still left the job of editing the film to other staff members. The suit also alleges that Keaton failed to adequately promote the film, and insisted that his own cut of the film—rather than a superior version produced by Merry Gentlemen—screen at the Sundance Film Festival. The production company is seeking damages for breach of contract.

Contributing Author

Alanna Byrne

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