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Bravo Media and Flipping Out star Jeff Lewis are being sued for violating the privacy of Alexandra Trent, a woman who agreed to be the surrogate mother for Lewis and his partner Gage Edward and then was shocked to see what was shown on television.
“There are some people in our society who will go to any length necessary to succeed, get attention and get ratings no matter who is hurt along the way, even if it is the woman who gave birth to their child,” begins a complaint filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court. “This case presents that exact scenario.”
Trent says she was given assurances that the birth wouldn’t be filmed in any capacity, but that Authentic Entertainment — the production company behind Flipping Out — “surreptitiously filmed it from behind a curtain.”
“Trent was horrified to discover that the Show broadcast Trent’s naked legs and blurred-out vagina as the baby emerges, which Trent explicitly told Lewis, Edward and AE was off-limits,” continues the complaint. “In a voiceover interview that plays while the birth is taking place, Lewis states: ‘Had I known, if I was a surrogate and I had known that there was going to be an audience, I probably would have waxed.”
Trent, represented by attorney Neville Johnson, is claiming illegal eavesdropping, intrusion upon seclusion, intentional infliction of emotional distress, public disclosure of private facts and fraud.
The complaint (read here) acknowledges that Trent did sign a release, but contends that it was presented to her for the purposes of filming specific scenes, that she didn’t have sufficient time to read it, and that an appearance release or HIPAA release form wasn’t presented for the birth of the child.
In other entertainment law news:
— Around the time that Jay Z and Beyonce had a son named Blue Ivy in 2012, it became trendy for celebrities to seek trademark registrations on the names of their children. DJ Khaled, the hip-hop star, has now taken the game to an entirely new level with regards to his son, Asahd. He has now filed a lawsuit against a company that is seeking its own trademark registrations for Asahd, Asahd Couture, and A.S.A.H.D A Son And His Dad. DJ Khaled could have simply filed oppositions to these marks, but he has chosen to file a lawsuit that alleges his son “became instantly famous in his own right upon his birth in October 2016” and that defendants are “appropriating and exploiting the renown and goodwill associated with well-known brands and personalities — and, worse still, the names of famous personalities’ children.” Here’s the full complaint.
— Black-ish creator Kenya Barris was originally scheduled to go to trial this week to defend himself against Bryan Barber, a friend from college who alleges being Barris’ former writing partner. Barber claims that the ABC family comedy is based on a pilot the two developed more than a decade ago and then each agreed not to use without the other’s participation. In April, a judge denied Barris’ motion for summary judgment. But there won’t be any trial as the court docket reflects a settlement between the parties. No word on the terms.
— As Sony readies the release of a remake of the 1972 blaxploitation film Super Fly, a legal war has broken out over Curtis Mayfield’s iconic soundtrack, among other recordings by the soul legend. Mayfield’s widow, through Curtom Classics, has filed a claim in the U.K. against Charly Holdings and others for infringing copyrights. Charly once had a distribution deal, but according to Curtom, that’s expired. Meanwhile, Charly has gone to court in Georgia and seeks declaratory relief while challenging chain of title and the authority of Curtom to assert ownership over the recordings. Here’s the claim filed in the U.K.’s High Court of Justice.
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