In the world of celebrity, it is assumed that everyone involved is making a lot of money. This causes two problems when the idea of lawsuits seeking monetary damages comes to light in Hollywood.
The first being, a lot of opportunists will sue celebrities in hopes of a quick cash grab. The logic is, even if the plaintiff doesn’t get the amount they asked for, if the accusation is damaging enough the celebrity might simply settle out of court to make the problem go away. This concept has been cited by famous names like Michael Jackson and Bryan Singer in their own legal battles.
The second problem is that not every celebrity stays wealthy forever and they very well do run into money problems. This causes them to jump at every possible opportunity to sue so they can maintain the extravagant life-styles that they have grown accustomed to.
Whether it’s a celebrity getting sued, or a celebrity doing the suing, several ridiculous and frivolous lawsuits concerning them have made their way into courtrooms. Here are ten memorable cases.
10. Lindsey Lohan Versus E-Trade
In 2010, E-Trade aired one of their popular ads featuring talking babies during the Super Bowl between the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts. In the commercial a female baby accuses her baby boyfriend of hanging out with a “milk-aholic” named Lindsay.
Since the world does indeed revolve around Lindsay Lohan, the commercial must have been a potshot at her. Lindsay believed this so strongly that she sued E-Trade for $100 million dollars! The weirdest part to this lawsuit was Lindsey claimed to have the same one word name recognition as celebrities like Madonna and Oprah. Since when has Lindsey Lohan ever been commonly referred to as Lindsey?
The lawsuit was eventually dropped but it is alleged Lindsey did get some money out of the deal. In all fairness, she probably needed it.
9. 50 Cent Versus Taco Bell
Maybe the infamous “Fish Sticks” episode of South Park made fun of the wrong rapper for their inability to take a joke. Instead of Kanye West, they may have wanted to go after 50 Cent for that time he sued Taco Bell.
In 2009 50 Cent actually won a lawsuit against Taco Bell for requesting that he change his name to “79 Cent, 89 Cent, or 99 Cent” to promote their new discount menu. Instead of laughing it off, 50 Cent became upset because it painted the picture to his fans that he had sold out to Taco Bell as a paid endorser. Instead of just setting the record straight, 50 Cent instead sued for $4 million.
Luckily this one was settled without going to court.
8. Kim Kardashian Versus Old Navy
Apparently you can sue somebody for looking like you, because that’s what Kim Kardashian did.
In their ads, Old Navy used model-singer Melissa Molinaro to show off their clothing line. Kim Kardashian saw this as a violation of her publicity rights, saying that might give the wrong impression to consumers as to where her endorsements lie, since she already endorses a clothing store.
Can a working model actually help the fact that she might look a little like Kim Kardashian? Is she just supposed to not work anymore?
This ridiculous lawsuit was settled out of court. Good news for Kim. There was probably no way she’d win that thing.
7. Ron Livingston Versus Wikipedia and John Doe
Ron Livingston, also known as “Oh! That’s the guy from Office Space!” sued Wikipedia for posting false information about him. This is a pretty bold move considering anyone can go on to Wikipedia and upload any information they want to on any topic.
In 2009, a man who was cited as “John Doe”, kept going on to Livingston’s Wikipedia entry and claiming the actor was gay. Apparently Livingston has never heard the term “sticks and stones may break my bones.
The biggest problem with this lawsuit is courts will no longer rule that calling someone “gay” is defamation of character. To do so would be taking a stance that there is something wrong with being gay.
6. Carrie Prejean Versus Miss USA Pageant
It usually seems a little silly when a Christian in a predominantly Christian nation sues for religious discrimination, but this series of lawsuits got a little weirder as it went on.
When Prejean was fired by pageant officials for not making scheduled appearances, she claimed it was actually due to her stance on gay marriage.
In retaliation, Miss USA counter-sued for $5,200 they had given to Prejean for breast implants.
In the end, Prejean received nothing from the Miss USA Pageant and now the world knows she has implants. Talk about a plan that backfired.
5. Katherine Heigl Vs. Duane Reade Drugstore
Katherine Heigl already has a bit of a reputation for not being a very pleasant person, and this lawsuit she filed against Duane Reade Drugstores only seems to support the claims.
The drugstore posted a photo of Heigl making a run to one of their drugstores to show that even Katherine Heigl shops at their stores.
Instead of issuing a take-down notice, Heigl went for the gusto and sued for damages of no less than $6 million.
As this incident took place April of 2014, it remains to be seen what will come of the lawsuit.
4. Sacha Baron Cohen Versus Richelle Olsen
Back in 2009, Sacha Baron Cohen was filming another documentary-style comedy film called Bruno. In the film, Cohen plays a gay character and purposefully calls attention to the character’s sexuality around people that are usually intolerant of such things.
For a bit in the film, Cohen calls out numbers at a Bingo Hall of senior citizens and begins to associate each number with a fictitious former male lover. Richelle claimed that Cohen caused her to faint from being so upset; causing two “brain bleeds”.
Since Cohen was filming, he had plenty of footage supporting that he had nothing to do with the incident. Not only did Richelle lose her lawsuit, but she was also forced to pay Universal Studios legal fees.
3. Lindsay Lohan Versus Pitbull
Lindsay Lohan has gotten a little sue-happy lately. In addition to her two list-makers, it was also reported she was going to sue Rockstar Games for their use of a characters that she thinks looks like her. It seems Lindsay thinks any red-haired character that is also a celebrity is supposed to be modeled after her.
This time, Lindsay sued the rapper for the line “I’ve got it locked up like Lindsay Lohan” from his song “Give Me Everything”. She cited the line as defamatory. Pitbull correctly pointed out that she’s been locked up a lot.
Luckily for Pitbull, the judge threw out the case, citing it as frivolous.
You would think Lindsay would have had enough of courtrooms at this point.
2. Allen Heckard Versus Michael Jordan
This lawsuit was so ridiculous it is alleged that Heckard dropped the lawsuit because he knew he’d eventually be forced to pay Jordan’s legal fees.
Allen Heckard, a regular guy that looks a lot like Michael Jordan, sued Jordan and Phil Knight, the founder of Nike, because they made Jordan too big of a star and a lot of people now think he is Michael Jordan. Not only is the notion you could sue someone for such a thing ridiculous, but he sued them to the tune of almost a billion dollars! He sued both Phil Knight and Jordan for $416 million each!
1. Valerie Turks Vs. Sean “Diddy” Combs
This ridiculous lawsuit involving a popular celebrity takes the cake.
A woman named Valerie Turks sued the rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs for $1 trillion! Why? Well as everyone knows, Diddy and Rodney King conspired together and caused the 9/11 terrorist attacks, subsequently putting her on disability. She then claimed the Diddy sexually assaulted her, resulting in the birth of a child, and then he returned eighteen years later to assault her, her children, and crush her leg. She sued for $900 billion in back child support, and $100 billion in damages.
Obviously the lawsuit was thrown out. Still, one can’t feel a little bad for a woman who clearly isn’t in a healthy state of mind.