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5 celebrity lawsuits in the news

Lady Gaga's revenge, Sarah Palin's IP gaffe, and three other celebrity lawsuits making news

Battle of the Queens

Battle of the Queens

Call this labor claim a Bad Romance: Lady Gaga’s former assistant, Jennifer O’Neill, claims that the pop star owes her back pay, with 7,168 hours of unpaid overtime still on the books. Based on O’Neill’s $75,000 annual salary, she believes Gaga, whose real name is Stefani Germanotta, owes her around $393,000

But, true to form, Lady Gaga isn’t one to go down without a fight. As part of a 200-page witness statement, she writes, “I am going to tell you exactly what ******* happened, so that the judge can read on this transcript exactly what’s going on, which is my ex-best friend is a ******* hood rat who is suing me for money that she didn’t earn.”  Gaga also writes, “SHE thinks she’s just like the Queen of the Universe.  And, you know what?  She didn’t want to be a slave to one, because in my work and what I do, I’m the Queen of the Universe every day.”


Picture Source: Barcroft Media

An All-American Suit

An All-American Suit

The iconic photograph of three New York City firefighters raising an American flag over Ground Zero post-9/11 is perhaps the most well-known of the day’s incredible images. Sarah Palin knew this, so she used the photograph for the political action committee, SarahPAC, on both the committee’s website and Facebook profile. But now, the original owners of the photo are crying foul.

North Jersey Media Group, Inc. (NJMG), filed suit in a Manhattan federal court on Sept. 13, alleging that SarahPAC’s used the photograph without their permission. The photo was originally taken by Thomas E. Franklin of The Record, one of the two major newspapers under NJMG’s control.  The lawsuit seeks to have the PAC stop using the photo as well as damages. SarahPAC did not respond to a request for comment by Politico.


Picture Source: Reuters

Litigation Management

Litigation Management

Oh, Charlie Sheen. Everyone knows about his myriad legal troubles, but he seems to have come around with his successful FX television show, Anger Management. Well, “successful” may be the wrong word. Sure, it has high enough ratings to still be on the air, but his role on the show is also the center of a potential $1.2 million retaliation lawsuit from former co-star Selma Blair.

Blair claims she was prematurely fired from Anger Management after criticizing Sheen on set. According to TMZ, she repeatedly complained to the crew that everyone had to sit around and wait while Charlie sat in his trailer and learned his lines. Blair believes that when Sheen learned of her unhappiness, he made sure she was written out of the show. Her claim of $1.2 million is the amount Blair says she would have made if she had continued working.  TMZ, however, claims that Blair would have been written out of the show anyway, as “America didn't want to see Charlie with just one girlfriend.”


Photo Source: TV Guide

Dotcom Boom


Dotcom Boom

Online file-sharing tycoon Kim Dotcom (yes, that’s his real legal name) has had an up-and-down past 24 months. First, his wildly successful file sharing site was shut down by federal regulators. Then, New Zealand’s main spy agency, the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), invaded Dotcom’s mansion and arrested him in January 2012. But now, a lawsuit Dotcom has filed against the GCSB could turn his fortunes right back around.

Court documents made available in early September 2013 have revealed that Dotcom has filed suit against the New Zealand government for the raid as well as electronic spying that preceded it. Dotcom seeks N$6 million ($4.85 million) in damages. The government appealed a ruling that allowed the online tycoon the right to sue but lost in March. “The case will show how the Five-Eyes spy cloud, X-Keyscore and PRISM were utilized in our copyright case,” Dotcom told Wired. “Remember, I’m not a terrorist.”


Photo Source: Getty Images

Hating Love

Hating Love

How much trouble can you truly get into on Pinterest? If you’re Courtney Love, enough to bring a defamation lawsuit against you. According to the Hollywood Reporter, fashion designer Dawn Simorangkir, also known as the “Boudoir Queen,” has sued Love for defamation over alleged derogatory statements the singer wrote on Pinterest. In the suit, Simorangkir claims, “Love seeks to use her fame, influence and celebrity, in particular in fashion circles, to undermine Simorangkir’s efforts to rebuild. In narcissistic fashion, Love flagrantly taunted Simorangkir about Love’s power and influence: 'oh wait i have 5500 followers you have what? a few hundred on pintersst, hmmm dawn wonder why, oh right im me.'”

This isn’t the first time that these two have gone head-to-head in a courtroom; Simorangkir previously sued Love for defamation over Twitter just two years ago. Love paid $430,000 out of court to settle that case. In her new filing, Simorangkir writes, “Truly, Love has not learned her lesson.” The designer seeks unspecified punitive damages.

Assistant Editor

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Zach Warren

Zach Warren is Assistant Editor of InsideCounsel magazine, where he oversees online content submissions and administers InsideCounsel's enewsletters. Zach specializes in new media and multimedia...

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