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Tag: Lawsuits (41-50 of 519)

Hank Azaria sues over a character voice

The Simpsons voice actor Hank Azaria is suing actor Craig Bierko over the rights to a character voice — in this case, fictional sports announcer Jim Brockmire. In a lawsuit filed Wednesday and obtained by EW, Azaria filed a complaint for declaratory relief. He claims that he shared the voice character with many other performers over the years, including Bierko. Bierko says he helped to develop the character.

In 2010, the “Jim Brockmire character” gained prominence in a “Funny or Die” video, which allowed Azaria to entertain feature film offers. Then, Bierko claimed “it was he who either:  A.) independently created the Azaria voice, or B.) created it in collaboration with Azaria. Bierko has not been clear as to which of these alternatives he is asserting,” according to the lawsuit.

Azaria wants a “judicial determination of their rights and obligations with respect to the Jim Broadmire Character.”

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Judge ends case against Britney Spears' parents

Britney Spears’ former confidante and self-professed manager failed to prove his libel and breach-of-contract claims against the singer’s parents and her caretakers, a judge who dismissed the case mid-trial ruled Thursday.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Suzanne Bruguera said an attorney for Sam Lutfi hadn’t proven any of his allegations in the case that centered on events before the singer’s public meltdown more than four years ago.

Lutfi’s side rested its case Tuesday, but Bruguera agreed with arguments by attorneys for Spears’ father and her conservators that there wasn’t sufficient evidence to send the claims to a jury.

Lutfi had sued Lynne Spears for libel and the singer’s father, Jamie, for allegedly hitting him at the singer’s mansion in an incident shortly before Jamie Spears and others were granted control over the singer’s life. Lutfi also had claimed he was owed a 15 percent share of the singer’s earnings, but Bruguera disagreed. READ FULL STORY

Sony sued over William Faulkner quote in 'Midnight in Paris'

Sony Picture Classics has been sued by Faulkner Literary Rights, LLC, the group that owns the rights to William Faulkner’s work, EW has confirmed.

The suit, for copyright infringement, points to the 2011 film Midnight in Paris, where Owen Wilson’s character said, The past is not dead! Actually, it’s not even past. You know who said that? Faulkner. And he was right. And I met him too. I ran into him at a dinner party.”

The lawsuit says that the quote is from Faulkner’s book Requiem for a Nun, where a passage read, “The past is never dead! It’s not even past.” The suit claims that Sony did not ask or receive permission to use the quote.

The lawsuit asks for “damages, disgorgement of profits, costs and attorney fees.”

UPDATE: A spokesperson for Sony gave EW the following statement: “This is a frivolous lawsuit and we are confident we will prevail in defending it. There is no question this brief reference (10 words) to a quote from a public speech Faulkner gave constitutes fair use and any claim to the contrary is without merit.”

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Tom Cruise sues tabloid for $50 million over Suri claim

Tom Cruise is suing Bauer Publishing, which publishes magazines such as Life & Style and In Touch, EW has confirmed.

The actor filed the suit over recent stories that claim he has “abandoned” his six-year-old daughter, Suri. The lawsuit calls out a July story in Life & Style with coverlines such as “Suri in Tears, Abandoned by her Dad,” and also an October issue of In Touch that had a cover photo of Suri with the line, “Abandoned by Daddy.”

The 50 million dollar lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles today, states that Cruise is suing Bauer Publishing for defamation and false light invasion of privacy. Cruise’s lawyer said that he told the magazines these claims were untrue, but they refused to print a correction.

“Tom doesn’t go around suing people. He’s not a litigious guy,” Cruise’s lawyer Bert Fields said in the statement to The Wrap. “But when these sleaze peddlers try to make money with disgusting lies about his relationship with his child, you bet he’s going to sue.”

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Britney Spears ex-manager testifies about 'distraught' singer in 'crisis mode'

The man who presided over Britney Spears’ life during her well-publicized meltdown is portraying himself in court as a benevolent personal manager who saved her from ruin.

Sam Lutfi was to finish his direct testimony Wednesday and face cross-examination by a battery of lawyers for the singer’s parents and conservators. They are fighting a multimillion-dollar lawsuit by Lutfi, who claims he was defamed by Lynne Spears in her book about her daughter.

He also said he was promised 15 percent of the millions of dollars that Spears earned during their association.

Spears’ mother portrayed him as a Svengali-like figure preying on Britney’s vulnerabilities. Lutfi said he was actually a peacemaker, reuniting Britney with her mother after a long estrangement. READ FULL STORY

Hulk Hogan sues over sex tape

Hulk Hogan has filed a lawsuit over a a sex tape, filmed six years ago, featuring himself and DJ Bubba the Love Sponge’s (Todd Alan Clem) wife, Heather Clem, EW has confirmed.

In the lawsuit, Hogan claims he was taped without his knowledge, and that Bubba and his wife conspired to sell the tape. Hogan is also suing Gawker Media, a gossip website, for 100 million dollars for posting excerpts of the video, according to Fox News.

“Mr. Hogan had a reasonable expectation of his privacy, just as all Americans have a reasonable expectation of their privacy in their bedrooms,” attorney Charles Harder said, according to Fox.

E! News reports that on his radio show this morning, Bubba had a different version of events, claiming that Hogan was aware he was being taped.

A call to Hogan’s rep was not returned.

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Stan Lee Media -- but not Stan Lee -- sues Disney over superhero rights

Call it superpowered litigation: Stan Lee Media, an Internet-based company that filed for bankruptcy in 2000, sued Walt Disney Co. for billions Tuesday. Though comics writer Stan Lee co-founded the company that bears his name, he has not served as one of its officers since the dot-com bubble burst.

As the L.A. Times explains, Stan Lee Media claims the copyright to Lee’s Marvel characters — those who have starred in several movie blockbusters since 2009, when Disney bought the comic book imprint. READ FULL STORY

John Travolta cleared of defamation

A defamation suit brought against John Travolta and his lawyer was dismissed by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge. Writer Robert Randolph — who’d written a book that detailed Travolta’s alleged sexual habits — had filed a lawsuit after a public letter from Travolta’s lawyer Marty Singer responded to those claims because the author claimed Singer’s comments had damaged his reputation. On Thursday, Judge Malcolm Mackey ruled that the letter was a legal expression of free speech.

“Robert Randolph’s ridiculous lawsuit against John Travolta and his attorney Marty Singer never should have been filed,” said Travolta and Singer’s Lynda Goldman, according to CNN. “Notwithstanding inane tabloid fodder, two individuals who sued Mr. Travolta voluntarily dismissed their cases, and Randolph’s case was dismissed by the court. Anyone else who thinks about suing Mr. Travolta should expect a similar result.”

The lawsuit stemmed from tangential accusations by two male massage therapists who separately accused Travolta of sexual battery. One was dismissed by a court, and the other was dropped in May.

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Robert Kirkman and artist Tony Moore settle 'Walking Dead' lawsuit

Walking Dead comic writer Robert Kirkman and artist Tony Moore, who worked on the early issues of the zombie title, have settled their respective lawsuits. In February, Moore filed suit against Kirkman seeking allegedly unpaid royalties from The Walking Dead and other properties and filed another suit in August seeking a determination that he is the co-author of the long-running zombie comic. In turn, Kirkman launched a counterclaim against Moore, alleging the artist had violated a confidentiality provision of their agreement and that he had in fact overpaid his onetime collaborator.

In a joint statement released today, Kirkman and Moore announced that they have “reached an amicable agreement in their respective lawsuits and all parties have settled the entire matter to everyone’s mutual satisfaction. Neither side will be discussing any details but will instead happily and productively spend their time focused on their own work and move on in their lives.”

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Royal family to sue over topless Kate Middleton photos

The Associated Press reports that Britain’s royal family is seeking legal action to prevent a French tabloid from continuing to publish topless photos of Kate Middleton. Lawyers for the crown will go to court in France, where privacy laws are famously strict, to ask for an injunction against the Italian conglomerate that publishes French tabloid Closer, which ran stealthily-obtained paparazzi photos of Middleton sunbathing topless on vacation in Provence. No such suit has been filed against an Irish magazine that also ran the photos. Palace officials took no legal action last month when a British tabloid printed photos of Prince Harry cavorting naked in a Las Vegas hotel.

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