Hollywood Docket: John Travolta Wins Legal Fees from 'Sex Life' Author
A roundup of entertainment law news including disputes over rights to use "Persian Barbie" and profits from "Spamalot."
John Travolta and his attorney Marty Singer have scored a victory in court.
In June, both were sued by Robert Randolph, who wrote You'll Never Spa in This Town Again and provided the basis for a 2010 Gawker article called "The Secret Sex Life of John Travolta."
In reaction to the article, Singer sent Gawker a letter that denied the allegations that Travolta frequented gay bathhouses and made statements that purportedly said Randolph had been in mental institutions and suffered from brain damage. Randolph claimed his reputation had been damaged.
The case was dismissed in September, and on Friday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Malcom Mackey awarded Travolta $139,645.17 in legal fees and costs.
“This legal fee award is another complete and total victory for Mr. Travolta," Singer tells The Hollywood Reporter in a statement. "Anyone else who files a ridiculous lawsuit against him should expect a similar outcome.”
In other entertainment law news:
- Ke$ha has settled a $14 million lawsuit from her former managers at DAS Communications, who signed the pop star in 2006 before she hit it big. She allegedly ditched the firm after songwriter Dr. Luke was said to have persuaded her to sign with RCA/Jive instead. DAS said it was entitled to 20 percent of her earnings, leading Ke$ha to hit back with counterclaims that the firm acted as an unlicensed talent agency and that the contract was void and unenforceable. The case was dismissed by mutual consent on Nov. 28.
- A lawsuit filed by actor Rick Schroder that alleged extortion emanating from his movie directorial debut has also been resolved. In February, he sued two producers at the Nasser Entertainment Group. Schroder says he was in talks with the producers to make a film entitled Black Stallion before the deal fell through, leading Schroder to move onto Wild Hearts and the Nassers to claim an interest there. The two sides have executed a settlement. According to a statement by the attorney for Nasser, "The parties have resolved all of their disputes concerning the ownership of Wild Hearts, have withdrawn and dismissed all of their claims against each other and wish each other continued success."
- A trademark dispute has erupted over the Bravo reality series Shahs of Sunset. A model named Niki Ghazian reportedly has sent a cease-and-desist letter claiming to be the real "Persian Barbie" and that the network doesn't have the right to bestow it on new castmember Lilly Ghalichi. One of the production companies involved with the show reportedly has responded by pointing out that "Barbie" is a Mattel property.
- An update on the Monty Python trial going on in London. Mark Forstater, a producer on the 1975 film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, contends he's due money on "spin-offs" under a 1974 agreement between him and the Pythons. He wants his alleged portion from the hit musical Spamalot. But Michael Palin, one of the comedy troupe's six original members, has taken the witness stand and says that the "idea of a seventh Python" is a myth.