Kim Kardashian’s declaration this week that she plans to sue NFL player Bret Lockett and In Touch magazine for defamation — categorically denying that she ever had a dalliance with Lockett behind the back of fiance Kris Humphries of the New Jersey Nets, or anywhere — is certainly the subject of water cooler talk in legal circles.
Leading entertainment litigator and defamation expert Mitchell Langberg has been watching Lockett’s interviews on TV and calls it “an interesting case. You don’t have too many times when the person who has made the false allegations about you starts saying they’re false. He’s not exactly doing that, but he’s caving, saying that the fact he said they had a relationship doesn’t mean they were together…It’s one of the crazier things I’ve ever seen.
“There seems to be more ‘there’ there,” adds the attorney, known for his work in a number of high-profile cases involving celebs. “If he has phone records to prove some sort of sexting or sex talk relationship, that’s going to come out if she really sues him for falsely suggesting or saying they had an affair.” That would do Kardashian harm as well, he points out.
Langberg surmises that she might have a good case against Lockett. “One thing that will help her here is that all the press reports assumed [Lockett] was talking about an in-person, actual affair as opposed to a Congressman Weiner kind of relationship,” he notes. Successfully suing the magazine would be much harder, “because you would have to prove they published information knowing it was not true, or having reason to believe the source was of questionable reliability. But they got it first-hand, from Lockett himself.”
Following in the steps of many famous folk before her, Kim will have to determine whether taking legal action is worth it. “A lot of times with celebirties, one of the hardest decisons is whether they want to bring more attention to something that would be superceded by the new picture of Representative Weiner or whatever in the next news cycle.”