Celebrities have often been engaged in some pretty crazy and often hilarious lawsuits over the years. Sometimes their lawsuit was justified, for example, when Taco Bell used 50 Cent’s name without his permission and somehow thought that was okay. Other lawsuits are less justified. Remember that time Ralph Lauren sued Polo magazine because he thought they were going to do damage to his clothing lines name? We have the details on that awkward legal action. Some lawsuits are just completely insane and show how a celebrity has lost all concept of reality — yes we’re talking about you Lindsay Lohan. Here are the ugliest celebrity legal battles that could have and should have been avoided.
Lindsay Lohan vs. E*Trade
This is definitely one of those ugly celebrity lawsuits that had no real merit but reeked of ego. On March 8, 2010 the team at E*Trade aired a commercial with a baby named Lindsay. The company referred to the baby as a “milkaholic.” Lohan thought it was inappropriate for anyone on TV named Lindsay to be referred to as a “-holic” of any kind. In a strange letter, her lawyers claimed E-Trade was “using [Lindsay’s] name as a parody of her life.” They asked for $100 million in the lawsuit.
Tara Reid vs. Sky Las Vegas Condominiums
Months after Tara Reid flashed her boobs on the red carpet the team at Sky Las Vegas Condominiums started a new ad campaign with her likeness. In the campaign the company used the slogan: “Dear Tara Reid, Come Let It All Hang Out.” She sued the owners of the condo project in March 2005. She claimed the advertisement misrepresented her as a “sexually lewd or immoral” person. She also said the ad made it sounds like her wardrobe malfunction was intentional. The case was dismissed on Dec. 6, 2005. A partial settlement was reached.
Carrie Prejean vs. Miss USA
In 2009 Carrie Prejean was participating in a beauty contestant when her aversion to gay marriage angered the judges and led to a very public attack from celebrity blogger Perez Hilton. Prejean took second place at Miss California and then went on the talking tour to tout her anti-gay marriage stance. A set of modeling photos in which she was clad in skimpy lingerie also surfaced and the Miss USA pageant officials fired Prejean, calling the photos a breach of her contract. Angered by her termination, she sued the beauty competition. In return, the agency sued her for the $5,200 she was given for breast implant surgery. The cases were suddenly settled when TMZ announced it received a racy video of Carrie Prejean that was ‘too hot” to air.
50 Cent vs. Taco Bell
50 Cent settled a lawsuit with Taco Bell in November 2009. The lawsuit was filed after Taco Bell sent a letter to news outlets around the country asking 50 Cent to change his name to “79 Cent,” “89 Cent” or “99 Cent” to promote the company’s low-cost menu items. Taco Bell didn’t tell 50 Cent about the promotion and they settled out of court before he could claim the full $4 million he was asking for in the initial filing.
Courtney Love Vs. AmEx
Courtney Love was sued by American Express in 2009 after she failed to pay $350,000 in charges and then refused to pay all owed fees. AmEx filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court and suspended the Hole singer’s credit accounts. The company said she “failed and refused” to make payments. Love fought back against AmEx in January 2010, claiming the charges were fraudulent and issued to other people using her name and other personally identifiable information.
Men At Work vs. Kookaburra
There have been a lot of copyright lawsuits over music. Most of those lawsuits didn’t get filed until decades after a song was written. That’s exactly what happened when Men At Work were sued over their 1981 song “Down Under.” In 2009, someone noticed that the 75-year-old Australian children’s song “Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree” shared a very familiar two-bar flute riff with the hit song. The original song was written by a schoolteacher named Marion Sinclair in early 1934. The song was eventually sold to Larrikin Music Publishing, which sued Men At Work members Colin Hay and Ron Strykert. They also sued several divisions of Sony and EMI. Amazingly, those two bars of music were enough to hand the win to the prosecution.
Ralph Lauren vs. Polo
For a period of 22 years Ralph Lauren and the magazine named Polo co-existed without any issues. In 1997, the publication, which focuses on the sport of Polo, was sued by Ralph Lauren. The lawsuit arrived because the magazine wanted to focus more on the élite, polo-playing lifestyle and less on the equestrian sport. Ralph Lauren worried that Polo was going after the type of image projected by the company’s clothing. In 1999, a Dallas court agreed with the luxury designer’s claims and the magazine was closed down. In 2011, another court ruled in favor of Polo and the publication relaunched with a disclaimer that clearly states it is “not affiliated with Polo Ralph Lauren.”
Miley Cyrus vs. Lucie J. Kim
Miley Cyrus took a silly photo with some friends in which she slanted her eyes. A woman, Lucie J. Kim, filed a $4 million lawsuit against Miley Cyrus. She said the photo somehow violated the civil rights of all Asian Pacific Islanders. Cyrus responded by saying she was “simply making a goofy face” and that the photo was taken “out of context.” Cyrus apologized with the following statement: “[I] really want to stress how sorry I am if the photo of me with my friends offended anyone.” The case was dismissed.
Nicolas Cage vs. Kathleen Turner
For some strange reason it sounds oddly fitting that Nicolas Cage would be involved in a story that accused him of stealing a chihuahua. In her 2008 memoir Send Yourself Roses, actress Kathleen Turner said that in 1986 the actor was arrested for drunk driving and then stole a dog. Cage wasted no time in filing a libel lawsuit in the UK. Turner’s book publishers and a newspaper that ran the excerpt from her book apologized and paid Cage’s legal fees. They also made a donation to a charity.
Prince vs. Pretty Much Everybody
Prince was possibly the most protective musician in the world when it came to his intellectual property. In 1999 he sued Uptown magazine, a fan publication, but later dropped the case. In 2007, he went after YouTube for airing unauthorized music videos from his collection. His fans eventually turned on him and a group of supporters behind other websites created “Prince Fans United” and stood up to the artist’s demand that they take down photographs of him.
Lindsay Lohan (Yes, Again) vs. Pitbull
In 2011, Pitbull debuted the song “Give Me Everything.” One of the lyrics from that song is, “I got it locked up like Lindsay Lohan.” It was an obvious jab at Lohan’s legal troubles and she filed a lawsuit which claimed the lyric violated her privacy and led to emotional distress. Pitbull apologized to Lohan but then took back his apology when his lawyers advised him the the lawsuit was frivolous. A judge found no validity in her claims and said Pitbull’s lyric was protected under the First Amendment of the Constitution as “art.” Pitbull had that lawsuit locked up like Lindsay Lohan.
Tina Seals vs. Beyoncé
I’m pretty sure there is a special place reserved in hell for people like Tina Seals. THIS TIME around she sued Beyoncé and Jay Z, claiming that she was the surrogate mother of Blue Ivy Carter, and that the couple owed her $5 million for her surrogacy help. We highlighted THIS TIME because Seals had also attempted to make the same claims about Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson and even Kim Kardashian. Judges in California never take her seriously.
Elizabeth Taylor vs. Willem Van Muyden
Elizabeth Taylor was hit with a lawsuit in 2003 after her gardener at the time, Willem Van Muyden, and his ex-wife, Manon V, took her to court. Van Muyden argued that Taylor owed him nearly $300,000 for projects that went unpaid. His complaints didn’t end there. He also said she discriminated against him because he was NOT gay and claimed that her butler, Jean-Luc Lacquement, sexually assaulted him. There may have been some merit to this highly publicized lawsuit, given that Taylor settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.
Diddy vs. The Incredibly Crazy Lady
Sean “P. Diddy” Combs was sued by Valerie Turks in 2011. Also named as defendants were Rodney King and P. Diddy’s ex-girlfriend. She claimed that she was the mother of the rapper’s son, Cornelius, who was then 23 years old. That part of the lawsuit seemed normal but then Combs was accused of stealing a Mississippi poker chip that belonged to her. She claimed it was worth “100 zillions of dollars.” Her lawyers later claimed the poker chip was worth just a measly $1 trillion. Turks would later accuse Combs of being responsible for the World Trade Center attacks in 2001. We don’t know how she lost this lawsuit.
Michael Jordan’s Not So Doppelganger
A guy who looks NOTHING like Michael Jordan sued the world’s greatest basketball player for $800 million. He claimed to be suffering emotional damages because he looked like the NBA star. Allen Heckard was almost 10 years older than Jordan, weiged at least 30 pounds more than the world class athlete, and he was half a foot shorter. He had no chance and he eventually dropped the lawsuit before it could get in front of a judge.
James Franco vs. The Professor
In 2010, actor James Franco enrolled at New York University to complete a Master’s of Fine Arts. Franco decided he didn’t like his class with Professor Jose Angel Santana and he earned a “D” at the end of the semester. Franco claimed Santana was a horrible teacher so he never showed up to his sessions. Santana was fired from the University and later sued Franco, claiming he was defamed and couldn’t find a decent job. The lawsuit defaulted after Santana’s lawyers failed to track Franco down and serve him papers.
Rob Delaney vs. Kim Kardashian
Standup comedian Rob Delaney filed an $18 million lawsuit against Kim Kardashian. Delaney claimed that Kardashian’s 72-day marriage to NBA player Kris Humphries was a scam and he even sued Ryan Seacrest for promoting the sham wedding. The case never went to court but it did create a lot of media attention.
Kimberly Griggs vs. Michael Jackson
Kimberly Griggs may be one of the scummiest lawsuit filers on our list. After Michael Jackson died she filed a $1 billion lawsuit in which she claimed that in the late 1970s she had a love affair with Jackson which inspired him to write the massively popular song “Billie Jean” and other hit songs off his “Thriller” album. The lawsuit was hand-written and Michael Jackson’s lawyers didn’t even respond to the hilarious attempt at stealing money from the Jackson estate.
Mila Kunis vs. Kristina Karo
Mila Kunis came to the United States from the Ukraine when she was just seven years old. Kunis’s childhood friend, Kristina Karo, lived on a family farm near Kunis and owned a large number of chickens. Karo ended up moving to the United States and by coincidence ended up living near Kunis. In a lawsuit she claimed that “The 70s Show” star had shown a lot of interest in a chicken named Doggie. Doggie went missing from the farm and, according to Karo, Kunis admitted to stealing him, saying, “You can have any other chicken as a pet.” Karo claimed the theft led to her depression and therapy. Karo sued the actress for $5,000 for swiping her favorite chicken back in the first grade.
Trump University vs. a Ton of Scammed Students
Donald Trump launched Trump University in an attempt to train future real estate moguls. He promised that the teachers were highly trained and the he had personally handpicked them. But it turns out that many of his “highly trained” experts were nothing more than high pressure salespeople, many of whom had never seen a real estate deal. Trump’s program would attempt to essentially steal $35,000 from each participant while providing them with almost no real-world training that could possibly translate into real estate sales. Numerous lawsuits have been filed against Donald Trump and Trump University in recent months.
Sofía Vergara’s Bizarre Legal Fight
Actress Sofía Vergara’s nasty split with former fiancé Nick Loeb has taken some very strange turns over the years. The two split in 2014 and their legal battles are still raging strong. Loeb has unsuccessfully attempted to sue Vergara for custody of the couple’s embryos, which they’d frozen before the breakup. In late 2016, things got even weirder when he sued her on behalf of the embryos, claiming that “the embryos are being deprived of their inheritance from a trust by not being born,” according to the BBC. He wants custody so the children can be born and given their rightful inheritance.