Famous people who deserved better: Stars who escaped loony litigation

Famous people who deserved better: Stars who escaped loony litigation

Defamation lawsuits, paternity claims, and injurious encounters with the paparazzi are all in a day’s work for celebrities. They get sued for offenses of all kinds, but mostly for reasons that have to do with their celebrity status. For instance, suing your neighbor for looking exactly like you isn’t lucrative, but accusing Michael Jordan of doppelgängerism and suing him and the global sporting apparel company that sponsors him could potentially win you millions of dollars. Or it could make you a laughingstock because of your transparent attempt to score some celebrity cash.

This may be hard to believe, but stars are humans, too. And they’re better off not being involved in these loony cases.

Boisterous Brunö at a bingo hall

Method actors like Edward Norton and Joaquin Phoenix win awards for their methodical approach to the craft. The demented genius, Sacha Baron Cohen, is also a method actor, and his method of choice is vulgarity.

In his mockumentary film Brunö, Cohen shot a scene in a bingo parlor. In the scene, Cohen, who plays the gay Austrian fashion designer Brunö, calls out the numbers in a bingo game for an audience composed of the elderly. Richelle Olson, one of the audience members/actors, was not thrilled with the fashionista act and declared that the bingo hall is way too sacred to be desecrated by the likes of Brunö/Cohen, and took over number-calling duties.

Ms. Olson then sued Cohen and NBC Universal for the actor’s “vulgar behavior,” which caused her a “brain bleed.” Cohen, however, was merely acting (methodically), and video evidence showed that Brunö/Cohen did not actually display vulgar behavior.

The California courts agreed and ordered Ms. Olson to pay up for filing what appears to be a nuisance lawsuit against a fierce fishnet-wearing fashionista.

Mila Kunis’s supposed fowl behavior

Who, at one point in their lives, has not stolen a chicken? Everyone has done it; it’s just the way the world works. Black Swan actress Mila Kunis allegedly stole a chicken from a playmate while they were growing up in Ukraine. But did she really?

Kristina Karo, a Ukrainian pop star and Kunis’s childhood playmate, swore she did. Karo suffered from emotional distress when she went to LA and saw images of Kunis (she was either pertaining to movie posters or she was hallucinating) and decided to relive a past trauma for which, she claimed, she had to see a therapist.

She sued Kunis and sought $5,000 in damages for the emotional trauma she suffered because of the pilfered poultry.

This devastated Kunis, who eventually stopped acting and stepped away from the limelight forever. Meanwhile, Karo won the lawsuit and became an international superstar who went on to sell hundreds of millions of records and earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

(The above paragraph is a joke, like the lawsuit, FYI.)

Gwyneth Paltrow’s risky skiing

Gwyneth Paltrow is not like you and me, and it’s not just because she has a goofy lifestyle website for the extremely rich and famous where she sells things like a moisturizer that doubles as a french fry dip. But when skiing, she — like the average human being — can mess up, too.

In 2016, Paltrow did a very normal thing: she skied and had an accident. She was uninjured but she allegedly knocked down 72-year-old Terry Sanderson on a ski slope in Utah. He claimed Paltrow’s out-of-control bonk knocked him unconscious. In his lawsuit, he claimed $3.1 million in damages for the brain injury, short-term memory loss, and four broken ribs that he suffered.

In retaliation, Paltrow countersued for a symbolic $1 plus compensation for her attorney’s fees and other costs. According to her case, it was Mr. Sanderson who struck her from behind.

To be fair, what happened with Paltrow could have happened to anyone (except those who are not incredibly famous and wealthy, of course).

Bad behavior is inexcusable, especially when they cause serious physical and emotional harm. Poor Mila Kunis certainly did not deserve a chicken-related scandal. If you ever get victimized by badly behaving, duplicitous characters, Seattle personal injury attorneys Buckingham, LaGrandeur, & Williams won’t ever chicken out of a case.