1:11am PT by Eriq Gardner
Hollywood Docket: Jeweler vs. Perez Hilton; George Clinton Denied; Stan Lee's Lawyer Dies
Robert Procop, designer of Angelina Jolie's engagement ring, is suing Perez Hilton for allegedly libelous comments. The blogger is being sued for $500,000 plus punitive damages over suggestions that Procop previously committed fraud on a buyer of his jewelry.
According to Procop's complaint, Hilton's blog, cocoperez.com, ran a story about an old lawsuit brought by a lawyer who purchased what he thought was a 25.5 carat diamond only to find out later that the necklace "only had 17.62 carats of diamonds."
Hilton, whose real name is Mario Lavandeira, reported that Procop had been ordered to pay $89,000. Procop disputes this.
"The statements that plaintiff was 'guilty' of fraud in connection with a jewelry transaction and that the court in the fraud action had entered a judgment against plaintiff are false," says the lawsuit.
Hilton allegedly wouldn't make a retraction or correction and Procop says he's been exposed to "hatred, contempt, ridicule and obloquy" from tens of thousands of the blog's readers and those in the business.
In other entertainment news:
- Last September, Matthew Jones, the screenwriter of Boot Tracks, a film starring Michelle Monaghan, Willem Dafoe and Stephen Dorff, sued producers claiming they breached promises against making significant artistic changes to his screenplay, based on his own novel. Changes were reputedly made to secure financing and distribution, but Jones wasn't happy, seeking an injunction to prevent the film's release. Last week, the dispute was settled. Terms aren't known yet.
- Jim Gilio, a talent dealmaker, has left LA's Myman Greenspan boutique to join Sloane Offer Weber & Dern.
- A judge has reconsidered the decision to dismiss a lawsuit brought by talent manger Lance Reynolds, who claims he deserved "executive producer" credit and compensation on HGTV's The Outdoor Room, starring Jamie Durie, whom he had represented. Last December, a judge tossed the lawsuit because Reynolds hadn't proven that settlement agreements that purportedly gave him the credit had been confirmed. After the decision, Reynolds found an email between him and Durie's agent that he said constituted "newly discovered" evidence. Durie disputed the evidence, but on Wednesday the judge ruled it represented material new facts and is allowing Reynolds to file an amended complaint by May 21.
- George Clinton's $10 million malpractice lawsuit against his former lawyers was dismissed last Monday by a judge. Clinton claimed that Hendricks & Lewis should have sued UMG for fraud on his behalf instead of breach of contract. The UMG case had to do with forged signatures and ownership of Funkadelic master recordings. But the judge has dismissed Clinton's lawsuit against the firm because the statute of limitations had passed.
- Arthur Lieberman, the longtime attorney of comic book legend Stan Lee and the COO of POW! Entertainment, has passed away from lung cancer at the age of 76. A licensing expert, Lieberman was influential in many of the deals that Lee made to bring his superheroes to life. He's survived by his numerous children and grandchildren. Here's a fuller obituary.