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October 13, 2015


Oprah Being Sued for Defamation

by Brad Trechak, posted Mar 18th 2010 10:30AM
Oprah WinfreyLarato Mzamane, the former headmistress for Oprah Winfrey's South Africa-based Leadership Academy of Girls, is suing the billionaire talk show host for defamation and casting her in a false light. Now she must face the wrath of Oprah.

What is most interesting about the article is that even the judge acknowledges that Oprah's incredible popularity contributed to the veracity of the prosecutor's claims. If Oprah potentially falsely criticized Mzamane's job performance but wasn't a household name, it wouldn't be that big a deal.

It's a bit like Oprah's Book Club. If Oprah didn't like your book, then you better not quit your day job. Similarly, if Oprah criticized you at your job, you'd better find another job. In that regard, the logic behind the judge's decision is understandable. And while Oprah likely has an army of lawyers at her beck and call, Mzamane can no doubt find a couple of legal sharks that want a piece of Oprah's net worth.

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Kia and CBS Sued For Ripping Off Song in Super Bowl Ad

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 15th 2010 2:00PM
CBSI really didn't think we'd still be talking about the Super Bowl commercials more than a month after the game ended, but we are. It seems that every other company that had an ad during the game is being sued in one way or another. The latest defendants are Kia and CBS, who televised the game.

The Hollywood Reporter reports that the two companies (and a few others, including the NFL and the ad agency) are being sued by Drive-In Music Company, who says that the song used in the Kia ad (the one with Muno from 'Yo Gabba Gabba') is very similar to a song by Dyke and the Blazers that they own called "Let A Woman Be A Woman." This commercial is still being shown a lot.

After the jump, the two songs. You be the judge.

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Did 'The Doctors' Trick A Man Into Penis Surgery?

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 7th 2010 7:30PM
the_doctors_cbs_logo_2010If this story weren't so strange, you would swear it was a FunnyorDie.com sketch. It could be a 'Saturday Night Live' bit, but their stuff is rarely this hilarious. Tyler Bowling, a 21-year-old Minnesotan who had a condition that caused white pimples to appear on his penis, received a free laser treatment for removal of the penile papules when he consulted with Dr. William Groff in Los Angeles. The $4,500 procedure was done gratis in exchange for Tyler's story to be told on CBS's syndicated daytime show, 'The Doctors.'

However, Tyler Bowling is filing suit against the doctor, his practice, the producers of 'The Doctors' and even the company that created the laser that was used to fix his problems, claiming he was tricked into getting the work done and becoming the fodder for the TV show.

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TLC and Jon Gosselin Settle Lawsuit

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 18th 2010 10:33PM
Another tiresome, spotlight hugging celebrity has passed from the glow of the paparazzi flashbulb into the fray of the forgotten. Well, maybe, a man can dream.

Jon Gosselin, one of the two soul-sucking parents of the TLC reality show 'Jon & Kate Plus 8,' has settled his lawsuit with TLC for backing out of his contract for his reality show.

The news gets even better. Since Jon is still under contract for the network, he can't return to television anytime soon. Looks like Santa got my letter after all.

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Could Nikki Finke Sue HBO?

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 8th 2010 2:02PM
HBO logoLast week, when Annie posted about the series HBO is developing the comedy 'Tilda,' about the life of "a powerful female online showbiz journalist with a no-holds-barred style," the first person I thought of was Nikki Finke, who writes the blog Deadline Hollywood.

In fact, pretty much everyone who works in entertainment journalism thought of Finke; she's reclusive, opinionated, confrontational, litigious, and likes to punctuate news that corroborates with her inside info with a big fat "TOLDJA!" in all caps. So it's not a surprise to think that more than one person had to wonder if Finke was involved in this show, and if she wasn't, would she sic her lawyers after HBO and anyone else within subpoena-shot.

Gawker called Finke, who, in between threats to sue the site's writer and corporate parent, said she'd talk about her involvement (or lack therof) with the project soon. But The Hollywood Reporter managed to find out that Finke wasn't involved, leading to their wondering if Finke has the right to sue over this series.

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Did Randy Jackson Steal the Idea for 'America's Best Dance Crew'?

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 3rd 2010 5:02PM
Randy JacksonThis seems to be the day for TV litigation. First we told you about that lawsuit brought by the creator of 'MacGyver' to stop the release of the new 'MacGruber' film, and now we have a lawsuit brought against 'American Idol' judge Randy Jackson.

It's not about the hit FOX show, though, it's about MTV's 'America's Best Dance Crew.' A man says that Jackson and MTV stole the idea for the show from him. He says that he pitched the show, which had the unfortunate name of 'International Breakerz League,' back in 2004 and got an "implied contract" from MTV. Nothing happened with that show and then Jackson's dance show premiered in 2008. The man is suing both Jackson and MTV for $2,000,000.

These lawsuits hardly ever work out for the plaintiff, do they? A lot of times we never even hear what the result of the lawsuits are.

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Old writers (over 40) settle age discrimination suit against networks, talent agencies

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 25th 2010 12:30PM
scriptTo be honest, I never thought this lawsuit would get anywhere when I first heard about it several years ago. Writers of a certain age suing TV networks, production companies, and talent agencies? Yeah, good luck with that.

But it turns out I was wrong. The various companies have settled an age discrimination suit brought by 165 veteran writers (yes, over 40!) of some of your favorite TV shows, including M*A*S*H, Maude, Knot's Landing, All in the Family, Kojak, Falcon Crest, and many others. The plaintiffs get $70M.

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Weight Watchers suing Jenny Craig over Valerie Bertinelli commercial

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 20th 2010 5:00PM
If you haven't seen the recent Jenny Craig commercial that features Valerie Bertinelli in a lab, wearing an official-looking lab coat and touting the benefits of Jenny Craig over "the largest weight loss program" (wink wink), here it is. Weight Watchers is suing Jenny Craig for what they say is bogus medical information in the ad.

I hate ads that show someone in a lab coat or standing in front of a bunch of books. Ooooo, he's in front of a bookcase, he must know what he's talking about!

[via Gawker]

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Comcast served legal papers by The Tennis Channel

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 6th 2010 4:03PM
ComcastGet it? Tennis Channel? Served? Ha! (Sorry, no more jokes like that.)

The Tennis Channel has filed a lawsuit against Comcast, saying that the cable giant discriminates against its programming. Comcast has channels like The Golf Channel and VERSUS on various tiers of their cable system but no Tennis Channel.

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It's Jon Gosselin vs. TLC, Round 312

by Brad Trechak, posted Dec 10th 2009 12:02PM

Jon and Kate Plus 8Granted, I'm making a joke with the "Round 312" thing. It only feels like Round 312. However, the legal fight between Jon Gosselin and TLC, the network that made him famous, is going to a Maryland courtroom. TLC wants Gosselin to stop making media appearances and Gosselin argues that his job as a "media personality" is his sole source of income.

Yes, Jon Gosselin's career is now that of "media personality". While in the courtroom, I sincerely hope that the judge orders a psychological test on Mr. Gosselin to determine his fitness as a parent. Honestly, I don't even know who to side with in this divorce. Both of them seem like unfit parents these days.

For example, if Gosselin didn't want his children to be exploited on television, why star in a reality television show in the first place? Is "media personality" even a career? Can one put the title on a W2 form? Sound off in the comments.

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Harlan Ellison bests CBS Paramount over 42 year-old Star Trek episode

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 24th 2009 10:02AM
city_on_the_edge_of_forever_STYou have to admire the tenacity of writer Harlan Ellison. He filed a lawsuit against CBS Paramount accusing the company of not paying him for all the ancillary income the company earned from the episode of Star Trek he wrote in 1967, "City on the Edge of Forever." Yesterday, Ellison announced on his web site that he had settled with CBS Paramount and he was very, very pleased. He didn't reveal how much money he made, but he probably did quite well.

After all, CBS Paramount has done very, very well with that original Star Trek episode. It's regarded as -- and is -- the all-time best show in the entire original ST canon. Ironically, Ellison never liked what Roddenberry and company had done with his script.

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Gosselin finally taken to court by TLC

by Danny Gallagher, posted Oct 16th 2009 9:37PM
Jon GosselinWho says that justice is a forgotten concept that only exists as a hope and no longer as an important facet of a fully functional society?

Jon Gosselin is about to have his day in court. Take that, evil!

TLC is suing for the former star of Jon & Kate Plus 8 for breach of contract, accusing accused him of violating an exclusivity and moral clause in his contract. I was shocked. Reality shows have morals? Of course it makes sense that the only morals involved in reality shows would have to be enforced by a contract.

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Miss California USA files a lawsuit

by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 1st 2009 3:00PM
Carrie PrejeanCarrie Prejean, aka Miss California USA (yes, apparently there is a difference between Miss California and Miss California USA, which is more information I ever thought I'd know about these pageants) has filed a lawsuit against two pageant officials.

You may remember that Prejean caused an uproar back in April when moron Perez Hilton asked her a question about gay marriage at the MIss USA Pageant. Prejean was fired a couple of months later for violating her contract and not appearing at several pageant events. Prejean says that pageant officials Keith Lewis and Shanna Moakler really got rid of her because of what she said during the show and because she talked a lot about God.

Donald Trump hasn't made a statement about this yet, but I'm sure he will.

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George Steinbrenner gets called on a foul

by Brad Trechak, posted Aug 29th 2009 12:29PM
YES NetworkI'm not sure who will rejoice at this news more: Yankees or Mets fans. Long-time Yankees owner George Steinbrenner has been sued by a former colleague for breach of agreement regarding the YES Network. This is another in a long line of broken and burned bodies left in Steinbrenner's wake.

Accusing Steinbrenner of lying is a bit like accusing the the Pope of being Catholic. Just ask Billy Martin, Dave Winfield, Reggie Jackson, etc., etc., etc. I'd be more surprised if he told the truth. Simply on the basis of who George Steinbrenner is and how he behaves, I'm pretty sure that Robert Gutkowski is justified in his claim.

Mind you, Steinbrenner is pushing 80. He's not quite the powerhouse he used to be. If you want to sue him, now's the time (as opposed to even 10 years ago). Perhaps they should get Larry David (who did the Steinbrenner impression back on Seinfeld) to fill in for him at the trial.

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Television comedian sued by her mother-in-law

by Brad Trechak, posted Aug 26th 2009 8:02PM

Comedy CentralThey say you can choose your friends, but not your mother-in-law. Sunda Croonquist is being sued by her mother-in-law for defaming her character in nightclubs and on channels like Comedy Central. Another ironic aspect to the story is that her husband's firm (he's an attorney) is defending her in the case. No comment is available from the husband/son.

Croonquist grew up in Paterson, NJ in a strict Roman Catholic upbringing with an interesting half-black, half-Swedish background. Naturally, with such a varied ancestry, she'd marry into a Jewish family.

I'm reminded of a Woody Allen comedy routine in which he goes into business with his family and ends up sending his grandmother to jail for fraud. He'd probably get a kick out of this situation. The lesson is: mothers-in-law hear everything and remember even more.

Here's what I don't understand: why didn't her mother-in-law simply yield the greatest weapon any Jewish mother has in her arsenal and guilt-trip the crap out of Ms. Croonquist? That usually works on me.

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