When the Rich and Famous Strike Back: 5 Ridiculous Celebrity Lawsuits
Some stories make it seem like celebrities are above the law. If you have money, you can get your way. But that’s not always true.
There are plenty of times when celebrities try to use their money to get their way and fail miserably. Here are 5 celebrity lawsuits that’ll prove they don’t get everything they want.
1. Barbra Streisand Versus Kenneth Adelman
This is one of the most famous celebrity lawsuits. In fact, it’s even inspired the naming of a phenomenon associated with it: the Streisand effect.
In 2003, Barbra Streisand sued a retired photographer, Kenneth Adelman, for $10 million. She claimed he was violating California’s anti-paparazzi law and her privacy rights. But Adelman wasn’t trying to photograph Streisand at all.
Adelman was taking photographs of the California coastline uploading the photos to his website online. One of those photographs captured Streisand’s Malibu estate — from 2,700 feet away. He didn’t even know her estate was in the shot.
The judge dismissed her claims, citing free speech rights. He also ordered Streisand to pay for Adelman’s legal bills. So, what’s the Streisand effect?
Before the case, the photograph containing her estate was downloaded six times. After the story broke, over 420,000 people visited the site. The Streisand effect refers to information blowing up in popularity after attempting to hide it from the public.
2. Kristina Karo Versus Mila Kunis
This bizarre story is what happens when people from your past hope to latch on to your fame. Kristina Karo alleges that when she lived in Ukraine growing up, she and Mila Kunis were best friends. And they both loved Karo’s chicken named Doggie.
One day, Doggie went missing. Karo claims Kunis told her she stole him. And she claims that being so close to Kunis sent her back into depression over her lost chicken.
She’s suing Kunis for $5,000 for emotional distress. For something that happened 25 years ago. In another country.
Kunis was quick to point out that Karo would have been a month old when these alleged events happened. She also stated that it seems to be pretty timely for Karo, who is promoting her brand new music video on YouTube. Karo was quick to then drop the charges, stating that her fans helped cover her therapy bills.
3. Ron Livingston Versus John Doe
Ron Livingston decided to visit his Wikipedia page and found something surprising. It (inaccurately) listed him as a gay man in a relationship with someone named Lee Dennison.
He was particularly frustrated because every time someone from his team would change the page, someone would change it back again. So he set out to sue whoever was responsible. The problem is that no one was sure who was making these changes.
But he didn’t let that stop him. Instead, he chose to sue “John Doe” for libel. Needless to say, without an actual person to blame, nothing came from the lawsuit. Not to mention it’s not exactly “damaging” to call someone gay.
4. Allen Heckard Versus Michael Jordan
Okay, so this isn’t exactly a crazy celebrity but a crazy civilian suing a celebrity. Allen Heckard was sick of people telling him he looked like Michael Jordan. So he sued Jordan for $832 million.
He claimed this was for defamation, pain and suffering, and permanent injury. He even went so far as to also sue Nike because he claimed they were responsible for making Jordan a celebrity.
In the end, he dropped the lawsuit. Probably after wasting a lot of his own money. Remember, always consult with a lawyer (like Brauns Law, PC) before wasting money on a pointless lawsuit, kids!
5. 50 Cent Versus Taco Bell
Sometimes the ad money isn’t worth it. In 2008, Taco Bell started an advertisement campaign sending letters to media outlets that they had allegedly also sent to artist 50 Cent. They requested he change his name for the day to 79 Cent, 89 Cent, or 99 Cent to promote their low-cost menu items. But the letter was fake, and 50 Cent received no such thing.
So, what’s the damage? Well, it made it look a lot like 50 Cent was endorsing Taco Bell, which he wasn’t. A lot of blogs started claiming he was selling out because of it, so it was actually hurting his reputation.
50 Cent sued Taco Bell in retaliation for $4 million. The lawsuit was settled in 2009, although the details weren’t made public. But it likely cost them a heck of a lot more than 50 cents.
The Craziest Celebrity Lawsuits: Now You Know!
We hope you enjoyed our list of crazy celebrity lawsuits. Looking for more fun celebrity lists? Take a look at the 10 funniest celebrity art purchases.