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The Beverly Hills Bar Association’s annual entertainment lawyer of the year dinner is typically a staid affair, with a few Hollywood stars saying nice things about their attorney before everyone finishes their banquet steak and heads home.
But Wednesday’s event honoring Marty Singer ended up being a star-packed and often ribald roast of the pitbull litigator, topped off by an appearance by Singer client Charlie Sheen, who toasted his lawyer by saying, “Marty might be the only person who has f—ed more people than I have.”
Sheen, who arrived quietly in the middle of dinner and appeared as the final speaker for Singer, poked fun at his $100 million litigation with Warner Bros. over his firing from Two and a Half Men last year. “A lot has been said about my past,” Sheen said. “But trust me, I never screwed a hooker as hard as Marty screwed Warner Bros.” Sheen added: “I’ve got 100 million reasons to say thank you.”
Sheen’s antics topped off a night of funny toasts to the aggressive lawyer, who has long been one of Hollywood’s go-to problem solvers for top talent and author of some of the longest and most threatening cease-and-desist letters in the business.
Tom Arnold, who emceed the gathering about about 400 lawyers and other guests, started the evening with a profanity-laced routine assailing his ex-wife Roseanne (“My wife was a walking lawsuit,” he said. “There were a lot of billable hours in that crazy bitch.”) and poking fun at ex-Governor and his True Lies co-star Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was sitting at the front table with Singer. “He doesn’t look like a 65 year old man,” Arnold said of Schwarzenegger. “He looks like a 40 year old lesbian.”
Sharon Stone later took the stage to fete her lawyer. “You call Marty because you need someone like Mike Tyson in the Holyfield fight, when he bit his ear off,” she said, adding, “Marty is such a bad ass motherf–er.”
Stone then referenced her infamous leg-crossing scene in Basic Instinct, which she said could have been impacted by Singer.
“If I had known him back when I was making Basic Instinct, I could have gotten Marty Singer to take that scene out of the movie,” she said, semi-jokingly.
Other Singer clients in attendance included John Travolta and wife Kelly Preston and filmmaker William Friedkin, who gave an eloquent speech (Sample line: “There are two words that strike fear into the hearts of network and studio heads: Marty Singer.”). Also spotted were Priscilla Presley, Michael Clark Duncan, Debi Mazar, Dog the Bounty Hunter and wife Beth, as well as a who’s-who of talent lawyers, including Jake Bloom (wearing a suit!), Melanie Cook, Carlos Goodman, Karl Austen and last year’s lawyer of the year winner Ken Kleinberg.
The Governator didn’t speak at the event but he appeared in a long tribute video to Singer, praising his longtime lawyer in a somewhat bizarre segment featuring an obese golfer that was supposedly a dead-ringer for Singer. Such Lavely & Singer clients as Paula Abdul, Don Rickles, James Caan, Brooke Burke, Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone did not attend but said nice things in the tribute video, which also featured a fun segment starring TMZ’s Harvey Levin and staff, a frequent target of Singer’s infamous lawyer letters.
When Singer finally took the stage, he thanked his family, clients and the talent lawers and agents that have referred his 35-year-old firm celebrities with problems over the years. “If it was not for them, the firm would not be there today.”
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