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Judge Narrows Lawsuit Over 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians'

The Kardashian sisters' ex-stepmom alleges she was defamed in the E! series.

Keeping up with the Kardashians S8 Key Art - H 2013
E!
"Keeping Up With the Kardashians"

A ruling that substantially trims a defamation lawsuit over season eight of Keeping Up With the Kardashians has become public.

The lawsuit comes from Ellen Pearson Kardashian, the widow of Robert Kardashian. She's suing the most famous Kardashian members as well as Bunim-Murray Productions and Ryan Seacrest Productions over things said on the reality TV show that she believes made her out to look like a money-driven opportunist.

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As we reported after a hearing on February 10,  L.A. Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff has decided to knock out Ellen Pearson Kardashian's claims of intentional infliction of emotional distress, disclosure of private facts and conspiracy to defame. The judge is also dismissing Robert Kardashian Jr. as a defendant in the lawsuit. Additionally, many of the criticized statements made on the show are determined to be substantially true, imprecise or rhetoric hyperbole and can't carry a defamation claim.

However, the lawsuit isn't completely over.

The judge is allowing the plaintiff to pursue defamation over four statements made on the show:

  • "[Plaintiff] married [my father] on his deathbed." -- Khloe Kardashian
  • "[Plaintiff] propped [my ex-husband] up on a pillow, basically in his own bed and married him in his pajamas." -- Kris Jenner
  • "Mom, he wasn't on the bed, he was on the couch." -- Kourtney Kardashian
  • "Well, propped him up on the couch and married him." -- Kris Jenner

Those four statements will survive while the rest won't.

The determination was made in response to an anti-SLAPP motion, which compels the judge to first examine whether such statements were in furtherance of their First Amendment rights in connection with an issue of public interest. To that question, Judge Beckloff says, "There is widespread interest in Kourtney, Khloe and Kimberly Kardashian as well as Kris Jenner. They are celebrities."

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The judge next examines the likelihood that the plaintiff will prevail. Again, only four statements have made the cut. Because the defendants have struck down a huge portion of the plaintiff's case, the judge says the plaintiff will have to pay their attorneys' fees.

The full ruling can be seen here.

More about this unusual case can be read here.

The plaintiff was represented by attorney Arnold Peter and Marcus Lee with Peter Law Group, while the defendants were represented by Dan Rozansky at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan and attorneys at Lavely & Singer.

Email: Eriq.Gardner@THR.com
Twitter: @eriqgardner