Tag Archives: celebrity law news

Woody Harrelson Applies to Open Marijuana Dispensary in Hawaii

Harrelson, 54, applied for a license in Honolulu County under his company, Simple Organic Living.

The Hawaii Department of Health posted the list of 66 applications on its website Friday. The state is now reviewing applications for dispensary permits, which they will award in April.

Video game entrepreneur Henk Rogers also applied for a license under his company, Blue Planet Foundation, which advocates for energy independence across the state. Rogers, 61, is famous for designing the video game “Tetris” more than 20 years ago, and lives in Hawaii in an entirely solar-powered home.

Among other applicants include Dirk Fukushima, producer of the local television show, “Hawaii Stars,” and former University of Hawaii Regent Charles Kawakami.

If selected, dispensary applicants must have $1 million cash before applying for a licenses, plus $100,000 for each dispensary location. All applicants must have been Hawaii residents for more than five years.

Under a law passed in 2015, the state will grant eight licenses for marijuana business owners across the islands. The law allows medical marijuana businesses to have two production centers and two retail dispensaries, for a total of 16 dispensaries statewide. Six are allowed on Oahu, four on Hawaii Island, four on Maui and two on Kauai.

Dispensaries are set to open in July.

Hawaii became the first to legalize medical marijuana through the legislative process 16 years ago. Lawmakers have introduced laws to legalize recreational marijuana; however they don’t think they’re likely to pass this year.

Sourced from – http://www.nbcnews.com/pop-culture/celebrity/woody-harrelson-applies-open-marijuana-dispensary-hawaii-n512641

Ryan Phillippe Has Found His Soulmate in Law Student Paulina Slagter: They’re ‘Madly in Love,’ Says Friend

UPDATED 01/04/2016 AT 08:35 AM EST

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 01/03/2016 AT 05:35 PM EST

Over the moon about his engagement to law student Paulina Slagter, actorRyan Phillippe, 40, spent a whirlwind New Year’s weekend at eco-friendly One Hotel & Homes South Beach celebrating with his new fiancéée.

“Ryan and Paulina are very much in love,” a close friend of the actor’s tells PEOPLE. “She is changing him. He is a better man.”

One of the things Phillippe loves the most about Slagter, 24, is her mind, says the source, who spent the weekend with the couple. He is mesmerized by her intelligence and desire to make life better for everyone around her.

“Ryan feels Paulina is very intelligent and has opened his mind to equality and civil rights, areas he has never really focused on that intently,” the source adds.

“Being a student at Stanford law is impressive to him, and he is very proud of her. He feels that she has the ability to change the world and make it a better place.”

Another thing that made Phillippe want to marry Slagter was her affection for the children he shares with ex-wife Reese Witherspoon, Ava, 16, and Deacon, 12, as well as his daughter Kai, 4, with Alexis Knapp, a former girlfriend. “Paulina loves Ryan’s children, and they love her,” says the source.

Adds the source: “Ryan is madly in love and wants to spend the rest of his life with Paulina.

“And the feeling is mutual. They had eyes only for each other during the South Beach weekend. They are a wonderful couple.”

Read Full Article – http://www.people.com/article/ryan-phillippe-has-found-soulmate-law-student-paulina-slagter

Hollywood’s Top 10 Legal Disputes of 2015

DECEMBER 28, 2015 8:42am PT by Eriq Gardner

This legal blog, recently inducted into the ABA Journal’s Hall of Fame, has been providing a Top 10 list for the past five years. The way we’d describe 2015 is eclectic, full of interesting disputes covering a wide range of legal topics including privacy, intellectual property, bankruptcy, antitrust, contracts and defamation.

Our top disputes of 2015 leaves out some long-running ones that came to momentous decisions (see: “Happy Birthday” or Google Books) and shortchanges some new ones that will likely provide plenty to write about moving forward (see: Sean Penn vs. Lee Daniels or the “Bones” lawsuit). There’s obviously room for debate about what belongs on the list. Our goal is to spotlight legal controversy both significant and much-discussed within and outside Hollywood. (A separate list for top legal and regulatory matters on the international front is also forthcoming.)

Without further ado, here — in reverse order — are the legal dramas that were most gripping this past year:

10: Gawker steps into the legal ring against Hulk Hogan

Well, the first trial ever over a celebrity sex tape didn’t happen. Not yet. After a postponement, Hogan’s $100 million lawsuit over the gossip site’s posting of a sex tape excerpt, and Gawker’s “newsworthy” defense, is now primed to begin trial in March. But plenty of fireworks in the case proceeded nevertheless. Gawker filed a lawsuit against the FBI to uncover documents from the government’s investigation of the Hogan tape. As Gawker faced backlash over a separate story about a Conde Nast executive who allegedly was involved with a male escort, other tabloids gained access to and printed an extended transcript of the sex-tape footage that showed Hogan uttering the N-word and making racist comments. A tarnished Hogan has been hunting the source of that leak, blaming Gawker, and a Florida judge in October allowed extensive discovery including an examination of Gawker employee tech equipment. Recently, Gawker announced that it would be switching its coverage to more politically-focused matters.

9. HBO beats defamation claims over a child labor report

Gawker hasn’t gone to trial yet over its news practices, but HBO did after a seven-year buildup in a case that examined an episode of Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel where young children in India were shown hand-stitching Mitre-branded soccer balls for pennies or less in order to pay off their parents’ debts. The trial inside a New York federal courthouse lasted a full month! It opened with harrowing images and an attack on HBO’s journalism just as the pay network was celebrating documentary hits like The Jinx and Going Clear. HBOfought back against Mitre’s defamation claims, and a jury heard conflicting testimony about who was exploitative and who was socially responsible. HBO prevailed, which represented a good outcome for the network, but one that also leaves untouched the judge’s controversial decision that the plaintiff — a multinational corporation — shouldn’t be considered a “public figure” for the purpose of figuring out whether defamation occurred.

8. Sony Pictures settles claims by ex-employees over hacked data

A nightmare of the scariest sorts best describes what happened to Sony Pictures when hackers stole the company’s most sensitive information and distributed it to the public on the verge of the release of The Interview. The subsequent class actions from ex-employees were just part of the fallout from this situation. Sony’s responsibility for safeguarding private data came into examination in the litigation, but the case didn’t go far. In October, Sony came to a proposed settlement to pay at least $5.5 million to resolve negligence claims. Some of the provocative issues that came up in the case — for example, how do victims of identity theft prove specific hacks are to blamed for their troubles when hacking has now become commonplace — will await testing in future cases.

7. Sports broadcasting faces a flood of antitrust lawsuits in the wake of a judge’s May ruling

The health of over-the-air and cable television is increasingly tied to live sports, the phenomenon that resists ad-skipping and cord-cutting. Thus, an antitrust lawsuit against Major League Baseball over how telecasts of games are packaged and distributed represents a huge deal. In May, a federal judge in New York agreed to certify a class of plaintiffs who aim to cut down territorial restrictions on game telecasts. The following month, the National Hockey League settled its own class action by agreeing to allow fans to obtain price-discounted streams of their favorite teams. These developments encouraged a flurry of similar antitrust lawsuits against the National Football League and their broadcast partners. Those latter cases have now been consolidated. Meanwhile, MLB is now set to go to trial in January. The outcome will be worth the ticket.

6. Hollywood talent agencies go to war

Agents in the entertainment industry have been defecting to rival agencies for decades. There’s often a bit ofEntourage-like drama that follows such flights, but nothing quite like the lawsuit that resulted when 12 agents at Creative Artists Agency moved over to United Talent Agency and brought with them top clients including Will Ferrell, Chris Pratt and Ed Helms. California usually favors employee mobility, but CAA alleges a “lawless midnight raid” with claims of interference against UTA, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of the duty of loyalty against the agents themselves. Much of the dispute is now playing out in arbitration, but there’s a big piece being litigated in open court. Unless settled, the war between CAA and UTA figures to addressCalifornia’s “seven-year rule” limiting lengthy personal services contracts. Typically applied to talent, the arguments on this subject will impact the alignment of stars and their dealmakers for decades to come.

5. Judge stops Aretha Franklin documentary from playing Telluride

In terms of shocking legal decisions, witness a judge’s decision in September to grant iconic soul singer Aretha Franklin’s emergency injunction motion to stop the film Amazing Grace from premiering at the Telluride Film Festival. Usually judges frown on prior restraints under the First Amendment, but in this instance, the judge determined the Amazing Grace producer had a contractual obligation to get her permission to use old concert footage and thus violated her right of publicity when he didn’t. We think the judge got it terribly wrong. The parties in the dispute are still negotiating a settlement in time for Sundance next month. If that doesn’t happen, the case could provide an important appellate review squaring a celebrity’s publicity rights with free speech.

4. Relativity Media declares bankruptcy

Hollywood’s biggest Chapter 11 filing in years hasn’t provided a satisfying answer to the core mystery of what went wrong for a studio aiming to bring a Moneyball-type quantitative approach to producing films. The bankruptcy of Ryan Kavanaugh’s company did, however, deliver a front row seat to the kind of arm-twisting and jockeying that happens when big financial institutions lend hundreds of millions of dollars only to see debt mature. Besides providing months of vicious legal filings — from accusations of

Read Full Article – http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/hollywoods-top-10-legal-disputes-850945

MELANIE GRIFFITH, ANTONIO BANDERAS DIVORCE FINAL He Keeps ‘Zorro’ Money, They Split ‘Shrek’ Cash

12/8/2015 10:07 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas are officially single, after dividing a huge chunk of movie change.

According to final divorce docs, obtained by TMZ, Antonio made a lot of dough on “The Mask of Zorro,” “Desperado,” and “Spy Kids.” He keeps all the cash from those flicks and she gets to keep what she made from her earlier work.

Melanie and Antonio split money from every movie either of them did between 2004 and 2014, including “Shrek 2,” “Puss in Boots,” “Machete Kills,” “Expendables 3” and others.

It appears they signed some sort of postnup in 2004 which changed the financial deal of their marriage … they married in 1996 but it seems they kept everything separate from the date of their marriage until 2004.

Antonio is not getting out clean … he’s paying her $65k a month in spousal support.

She gets the house in Aspen and they sold their L.A. mansion and split the profits.

And there’s a lot of rich people’s stuff that was divvied up. She gets a Picasso called “The Painter and His Model.” He gets a pencil drawing by Picasso and another pencil drawing by Diego Rivera.

Read more: http://www.tmz.com/2015/12/08/melanie-griffith-antonio-banderas-divorce-zorro-shrek/#ixzz3tnC6ZqUs

Scientology Takes Legal Hit In Ongoing Harassment Suit

David Miscavige’s church denied claim that actions were free speech-protected.

It’s been a rough stretch for the Church of Scientology amid the release of Leah Remini‘s tell all book, and now the church has taken another hit in a legal fight with another prominent opponent, Monique Rathbun.

Rathbun (who herself has never been a member of the church) is the wife of former high-ranking Scientology official Marty Rathbun, who left the church under hostile circumstances 11 years ago.

In a 2013 suit she filed in Texas, Monique said that the church — which she called a “notorious, multi-billion dollar cult” — had harassed her and her husband, and had them under surveillance, on orders from the church’s controversial leader, David Miscavige.

READ THE SHOCKING COURT DOCUMENTS

According to Scientology watchdog Tony Ortega‘s blog, Rathbun claimed a legal win after the Texas Third Court of Appeals denied the church’s legal appeal of a ruling from a lower court. The church in 2014 filed an “anti-SLAPP” motion in the ongoing litigation, saying that the religious-based conflict was protected under free speech.

After the initial motion was shot down by Comal County District Judge DibWaldrip, the church appealed to the Third Court of Appeals — which denied the church’s request, saying it had not proven that Rathbun’s claims were “based on, related to, or in response to” their protected free speech.

Leslie Hyman, a member of Monique’s legal team, said that “we are very pleased that the court saw through the church’s attempt to recast into protected activity Monique’s complaints of stalking and harassment and the church’s attempt to shield its wrongdoing with a Texas statute not meant for that purpose.”

PHOTOS: Kirstie Alley’s 30 Biggest Scandals! ‘Insane’ Drug Abuse, Steamy Affairs, Scientology Secrets & MORE

Legal experts told Ortega’s blog that the decision handed down was overwhelmingly in Rathbun’s favor, expect for its denial of her request to have them pay for her legal fees.

The church still has the option of petitioning the Texas Supreme Court to appeal the court’s latest ruling.

As RadarOnline.com previously reported, Marty Rathbun — a one-time “inspector general for ethics” who defected in 2004 after 27 years in the church — slammed Miscavige as having “a complete narcissistic psychotic personality” in a deposition, and compared him to notorious historical figures Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Ayatollah Khomeini.

PHOTOS: Thetan Hatin’! From Tom & Katie To Kirstie & Maksim — Hollywood Stars Face Off Over Controversial Scientology Beliefs

“That doesn’t connote hate or dislike, it just is what it is,” he said. “There’s parallels in their behavior that are very direct.”

Full Article – http://radaronline.com/celebrity-news/scientology-lawsuit-monique-rathbun-legal-win/