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Success breeds litigation, so it’s no shock that stars of the hottest reality TV Franchises have prompted a spate of lawsuits. What’s surprising is how odd the cases are. “Litigation is obviously about money,” says attorney Aaron Moss, “but the true currency of unscripted television stars is publicity.”
Kim v. Publicist: On Nov. 14, Kim Kardashian sued her former publicist Jonathan Jaxson for claiming in TV interviews that Kim’s July wedding to Kris Humphries was a sham publicity stunt. “It was obvious that it was staged,” Jaxson said on Good Day LA. “There were contracts already in place for E! to film it. Everything was written down.” The suit, filed by Marty Singer, demands $200,000 in damages from the allegedly defamatory statements.
Kim v. Old Navy: She is suing Old Navy over an ad that allegedly featured a look-alike that fooled consumers into believing the E! star, who lends her name to products including a QVC clothing line, endorsed the chain retailer.
Kim v. Hair-Removal Device: “She is on the receiving end of a lawsuit by a hair-removal company called Radiant, whose executives claim Kim, who endorses a rival product, deceived the public with unsafe suggestions on how to remove unwanted hair from sensitive body parts.
The Situation v. Abercrombie & Fitch: Abs-blessed Mike Sorrentino sued Abercrombie & Fitch for $4 million on Nov. 16 for allegedly using his trademarked catchphrases such as “GTL,” as well as profiting from a publicity stunt in which the company said it would pay him not to wear its clothing. Sorrentino also has battled his father and a former manager, and been sued by Dilligaf, a clothing retailer that says Sorrentino failed to promote its products.
Snooki v. Clothing: Petite Nicole Polizzi is suing SRG Ventures in an attempt to get out of a licensing deal that would have put her name on everything from denim to lingerie.
JWoww v. Tanning Lotion: A tanning lotion company is suing Jenni Farley, claiming it allegedly helped her create a branded potion. Farley also was targeted by her ex-boyfriend/manager, who claims to have helped her score promotional deals. One of Farley’s efforts was Filthy Couture, a clothing line that was shut down after a threatened trademark lawsuit.
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