August 18, 2011 8:16am PT by Eriq Gardner
Judge Tosses Chris Bosh Lawsuit Over VH1's 'Basketball Wives' (Exclusive)
There are less than two weeks before the premiere of VH1's reality series Basketball Wives. One woman who won't be a cast-member is Allison Mathis, the mother of Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh's child. But at least she can claim a small legal victory.
In May, Bosh sued Shed Media, the producers of the show, and Mathis for allegedly infringing his trademark and publicity rights. After the lawsuit was filed, Bosh and Shed reached a settlement. At some point, Mathis was let go from the show. But Bosh continued to pursue Mathis anyway, leading to a decision on Tuesday where the judge dismissed the case.
After Bosh sued Mathis in LA Superior Court, Mathis hit back with her own countersuit in Florida Circuit Court that alleged that the NBA superstar had ruined her chance to star on a big reality television show.
Mathis claimed that she had previously lived with Bosh in Texas when Bosh suddenly and without explanation abandoned her when she was seven months pregnant. The woman said that she was in deteriorating medical condition and had to move in with her mother in Maryland, before later relocating to Florida, where she caught a break by making a deal to appear on Basketball Wives.
Allegedly, Bosh's interference pushed Shed to nix her from the program, leading to a situation where she's now unemployed and broke. To remedy that, Mathis sued Bosh for about $250,000 -- her estimate of the compensation she would have received for appearing on the program.
And perhaps because of Mathis' still-pending claims, which Bosh denies, he has continued his own claims against Mathis.
But California judge Dolly Gee sees no reason why Bosh's lawsuit should continue in California since neither of the parties are based in California nor have much contact there.
Among the reasons why the judge dismisses the lawsuit over Bosh's objections for lack of personal jurisdiction is the following choice bit:
"Bosh requests an opportunity to conduct jurisdictional discovery in lieu of outright dismissal. His assertion that Mathis 'is an aspiring actress . . .who has mastered a Californian accent' is not a colorable showing that personal jurisdiction may exist over her. Rather, it amounts to 'little more than a hunch that [discovery] might yield jurisdictionally relevant facts.'" (ital ours)
Meanwhile, as we wrote previously, Gilbert Arenas, another NBA star, is also suing makers of the series and asking for an injunction to prevent the airing of the show. In reaction, Arenas has been hit with an anti-SLAPP motion contending he's attempting to impinge constitutionally-protected speech.
Hearings on the matter start next week with a decision expected before the August 29th premiere.