Bret Michaels and organizers of the Tony Awards have settled a lawsuit filed by the rocker after a 2009 incident in which he was hit in the head with a set piece and suffered injuries that he claimed contributed to a brain hemorrhage that nearly killed him. The confidential settlement also covers Michaels’ claims against CBS Broadcasting, which aired the show and the mishap. The Poison frontman blamed the network for airing the moment, which became which a viral video watched by tens of millions of people online, and claimed Tony Awards producers never warned him there would be a set change after he and his band performed “Nothin’ But a Good Time.” READ FULL STORY
Tag: Lawsuits (71-80 of 519)
William Balfour, the 31-year-old former brother-in-law of Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson, was found guilty of murdering Hudson’s mother, brother, and 7-year-old nephew. The jury took three days of deliberations to reach a guilty verdict, and Balfour now faces a mandatory life sentence in jail.
Balfour had been married to but separated from Hudson’s sister, Julia, at the time of the shootings, and the prosecution tried to prove that he had threatened to kill the Hudson family dozens of times while attempting to reconcile with her. “He said, ‘If you leave me, you will be the last to die. I’ll kill your family first,’” Julia Hudson testified.
Balfour had pleaded not guilty to three counts of first-degree murder in the October 2008 killings. Jennifer Hudson also testified for the prosecution and attended all 11 days of the trial.
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Jurors finished a second day of deliberations Thursday without a verdict in the trial of the man charged with murdering Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson’s mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew. The jury is scheduled to resume deliberations Friday morning in the trial of Hudson’s former brother-in-law, William Balfour. Judge Charles Burns has ordered the jurors sequestered at a hotel to ensure they won’t view media coverage of the trial.
Balfour, who turned 31 on Thursday, pleaded not guilty to three counts of first-degree murder in the October 2008 slayings. The former gang member faces a mandatory life prison sentence if he’s convicted on all charges.
Prosecutors say Balfour murdered Hudson’s mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew in an act of vengeance because his estranged wife at the time, Hudson’s sister Julia Hudson, refused to reconcile with him. READ FULL STORY
Two weeks of expert witnesses, grisly crime-scene photos and tearful testimony by Jennifer Hudson culminates Wednesday in closing arguments at the trial of the man accused of killing three of the Oscar-winner’s relatives.
The prosecution is likely to argue that overwhelming circumstantial evidence presented by 83 witnesses during their 11-day case proves Hudson’s former brother-in-law, William Balfour, killed the star’s mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew.
The defense — which began and then closed their case Tuesday after a mere 30 minutes — is expected to note that no witnesses tied Balfour directly to the killings and that prosecutors haven’t met their burden of proving Balfour was the killer. The defense theorized in their opening that Hudson’s brother’s alleged crack-cocaine dealing might have led to the killings. They offered no testimony to support that theory but could still try to argue that it is a credible alternative explanation for the slayings.
After the closings, jurors will withdraw to a back room at the 80-year-old courthouse to begin deliberating on a verdict. READ FULL STORY
A second anonymous masseur has joined the lawsuit against actor John Travolta, alleging the star used a private massage as an opportunity to make unwelcome sexual advances, including touching the second masseur’s legs, thighs, and buttocks. According to reports of the court filing, the event reputedly occurred in Atlanta, roughly two weeks after the first masseur alleges Travolta assaulted him at a hotel in Los Angeles. Both plaintiffs are listed only as Joe Does, but are represented by the same lawyer.
Travolta’s lawyer, Marty Singer, released the following statement in response to the amended complaint: READ FULL STORY
John Travolta sued by masseur for assault and sexual battery; Travolta calls suit 'complete fiction'
Actor John Travolta has been sued for assault, sexual battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress in U.S. District Court by an anonymous masseur, according to court papers obtained by EW. Referred to only as John Doe, the plaintiff alleges that Travolta hired him for a two-hour private massage in Los Angeles in mid-January and then made unwanted sexual advances, including touching his genitalia. He is seeking $2 million in damages.
When reached for comment, Travolta’s rep released this statement: “This lawsuit is a complete fiction and fabrication. None of the events claimed in the suit ever occurred. The plaintiff, who refuses to give their name, knows that the suit is a baseless lie. It is for that reason that the plaintiff hasn’t been identified with a name even though it is required to do so. On the date when plaintiff claims John met him, John was not in California and it can be proved that he was on the East Coast. Plaintiff’s attorney has filed this suit to try and get his 15 minutes of fame. John intends to get this case thrown out and then he will sue the attorney and Plaintiff for malicious prosecution.”
Jennifer Hudson arrives each day at the trial of the man accused of killing three of her close family members with her personal bodyguards in tow. She uses a secret entrance to elude photographers, eats in private and waits for proceedings to start in normally off-limits judge’s chambers. The Oscar winner, recently named one of the world’s 50 most beautiful women by People magazine, slips from the courtroom during particularly gory testimony.
Do the accommodations for the actress and singer add up to special star treatment? “Absolutely not,” said Irv Miller, a judge’s liaison at the trial, which is into its second full week. Most accommodations, he insisted, are courtesies routinely extended to victims having to endure the grim ordeal of sitting through a murder trial. Others, he conceded, are necessary because Hudson — a 2004 American Idol finalist and 2007 Oscar winner for her role in Dreamgirls — is a celebrity. “Star status means things have to be a little different,” he said. “You just can’t have a celebrity walking about, going to the cafeteria — people running up to ask for autographs.” READ FULL STORY
Howard Stern’s hopes for a $300 million payday from Sirius XM Radio Inc. have been dashed by a judge. His show’s Twitter feed said the shock jock was “really bummed” by the decision and plans to appeal.
Stern sued last March, arguing that he was entitled to a huge stock-based bonus in his contract because the number of Sirius subscribers exceeded the company’s internal forecasts. But his initial job contract was signed in October 2004, well before Sirius acquired XM in July 2008.
New York state court judge Barbara Kapnick ruled Monday that Stern couldn’t count XM’s nearly 10 million subscribers in calculating his bonus, saying that the language of his contract was clear and unambiguous.
Kapnick dismissed Stern’s lawsuit “with prejudice,” which means he can’t bring another case based on the same set of facts.
Sirius XM’s stock rose 7 cents, or 3.2 percent, to close Tuesday at $2.24.
The ruling by New York’s trial court, the Supreme Court, was decisive and “finally removes lingering headline risk,” Standard & Poor’s equity analyst Tuna Amobi said in a research note. He has a “buy” rating on the shares.
Sirius XM, which now has more than 21 million subscribers, acknowledged the ruling in a securities filing Tuesday.
“The court found the agreement unambiguous and that we had complied with all our obligations,” it said.
Stern had already received a $75 million stock bonus for exceeding the 2006 subscriber estimate by more than 2 million subscribers. He was also paid $25 million when Sirius combined with XM, in order to enable Stern’s show to be broadcast to XM listeners as well.
Stern’s agent Don Buchwald, who stood to gain $30 million from a favorable ruling, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday. Buchwald also received a $7.5 million stock bonus when Stern exceeded the 2006 subscriber estimate and $2.5 million when Sirius acquired XM, the ruling said.
In December 2010, Stern signed a new 5-year contract, keeping him at Sirius XM through 2015.
EW has confirmed that Johnny Depp is being sued by a 52-year-old disabled woman, who claims Depp’s bodyguards injured her at a concert. The woman, who is not named in lawsuit papers, says she encountered Depp in the VIP area of an Iggy and the Stooges performance at the Hollywood Palladium last Dec. 1.
She alleges three separate altercations with Depp’s security, all of which were witnessed by the Oscar nominee, who ignored her cries for help. She claims the guards appeared to be conspiring against her before one of them “grabbed [her] from behind, bear-hugged her, and tightly grabbed and restrained both of her wrists” while another tried to “wrench her iPhone… from her hands.” During another scuffle, she alleges the guards handcuffed her, dragged her around a public section venue, and ripped off her pants, exposing her backside to other concertgoers.
The woman — a U.C. Irvine med school professor, who needs a cane to walk — claims the incident resulted in severe injuries (including a dislocated left elbow, bleeding, swelling, and bruising) and worsened pre-existing conditions, ultimately preventing her from returning to work after a medical leave. She is suing Depp and the Hollywood Palladium for emotional distress, assault, battery, false imprisonment, discrimination, and civil rights violations. Damages weren’t specified.
Paul McCartney directs Natalie Portman and Johnny Depp in new music videos — WATCH
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It took Fox News Channel less than 24 hours to find — and fire — an associate producer who began writing a column critical of his employers for the news blog Gawker. The network said Joe Muto, who worked on The O’Reilly Factor and said he had been working at Fox News since 2004, was identified and fired. Fox said it was “continuing to explore legal recourse against Mr. Muto and possibly others.”
On Tuesday Gawker posted Muto’s initial column, written anonymously. It was primarily critical of a Fox website that he called “an unholy mashup of the Drudge Report, the Huffington Post and a Klan meeting.” He also posted a previously unseen video of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney chatting with Sean Hannity about his family’s horses and other things. READ FULL STORY
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