Hollywood Docket: Hall, O'Connor Settle Defamation Fight

Plus, lawsuits related to 'Hamilton' and 'House of Cards' settle.
Getty Images
Arsenio Hall, Sinead O'Connor

Arsenio Hall and Sinead O'Connor are laying down their arms in the legal battle over a Facebook post the singer wrote that accused the comedian of giving Prince illegal drugs.

Hall sued O'Connor for libel in May, and she quickly responded that she was "amused" by the $5 million suit — but it seems she's changed her tune.

Hall's attorney Marty Singer sent The Hollywood Reporter a statement on Thursday confirming the situation has been resolved. “Arsenio's reputation has been restored by Sinead’s unequivocal retraction and apology, and he has been completely vindicated, and the lawsuit will be dismissed.”

In a joint announcement with Hall on Wednesday, O'Connor apologized and retracted her statements. 

"I apologize for my Facebook posts about Arsenio to the extent that anyone thought I was accusing him of acting as Prince's drug dealer and supplying him with illegal hard drugs, or insinuating that Arsenio had something to do with Prince's death," said O'Connor in the statement. "I sincerely apologize because those statements would be false, and I retract them unequivocally."

In other entertainment legal news:

— A lawsuit over unauthorized Hamilton merchandise has ended its run, the play's producer announced Wednesday. Hamilton Uptown sued SunFrog and GearLaunch in October, claiming the sites were allowing users to sell infringing merchandise. SunFrog and GearLaunch deny any wrongdoing, but have agreed to work toward preventing future infringements. They also will make a donation to the Hamilton Education Project of the Gilder Lerhman Institute, which helps public students attend Hamilton and supports history education. "It is our shared goal to prevent fans of Hamilton from being misled into buying unauthorized merchandise, and by acting responsibly in the face of this problem, GearLaunch and SunFrog are showing that the entertainment and the merchandising industries can work together for their common interests," said producer Jeffrey Seller in a statement. "We intend to continue to aggressively prevent the infringement of HAMILTON by the ‘John Does’ and others, to the full extent of the law."

House of Cards slot machines and T-shirts no are longer at the center of a legal dispute. Details of the resolution are unclear, but court records indicate Media Rights Capital and International Games Technology have reached a deal with D2 Holdings. D2 sued MRC and IGT for trademark infringement last March, claiming it has owned the "House of Cards" mark since 2009. The suit has been dismissed with prejudice, with no fee awards to either party and no right to appeal.

— The production company behind The Lego Movie sequels is asking the court to pare down a lawsuit that claims it breached an agreement with one of its producers. Jason Lust in October sued Animal Logic Entertainment, an Australian VFX house turned production company. He claims he was pressured into signing over his intellectual property rights in Peter Rabbit and is owed both front-end producer fees and back-end compensation. In a motion to dismiss several of the claims, Animal Logic argues that Lust is disgruntled because his role as an "at will" producer wasn't extended. "At most, the allegations in the Complaint concerning a purported partnership, even when viewed in the light most favorable to Plaintiff, seem to allege that there may have been an agreement to agree on the terms of a potential partnership; under California law, such a prospective arrangement is unenforceable," writes Saul Brenner in the filing. (Read it in full here.)

comments powered by Disqus