Tag Archives: Mitchell Langberg

Does Kim Kardashian Have a Case?

Kim Kardashian

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with celebirties, one of the hardest decisons is whether they want to bring more attention to something that would be superceded by the new picture of Representative Weiner or whatever in the next news cycle.”

Charlie Sheen Wrongful Termination Suits No Open and Shut Matter

Charlie Sheen

Do you think that Charlie Sheen’s condition as he rants against Warner Bros. TV and producer Chuck Lorre over radio, TV and internet makes the $100 million wrongful termination lawsuits his attorneys have filed into a lost cause?  Think again.

Leading entertainment litigator Mitchell Langberg notes that there is more to Sheen’s case than is apparent at first blush.  “In my experience, the studios in these employment things are at least mostly wrong.  You have artists who are artists, and studios that are businesses.  When something happens to make it personal on the business side, then it devolves into all kinds of issues.”

Langberg’s firm, Brownstein/Hyatt/Farber/Schreck, has represented stars and companies through the years, so he’s well versed in both sides of cases involving high-profile entertainment firings.  The company represented Aaron Spelling back when Farrah Fawcett quit “Charlie’s Angels” — as well as Valerie Harper, back when she was fired from her own series.

” In this case, you have a studio that knew about it,” he says, referring to Sheen’s drug-fueled carousing.  “They even renegotiated with him after it was happening.   They can point to their morals clause or their felony clause, but it would appear that as long as the ratings were high and the money was rolling in, his behavior was acceptable to them.

Mitchell Langberg

“Now, it could be that it got so out of control it got to be a danger and was starting to effect the show,” continues Langberg.  “I’ve read the 11-page termination letter, where they talk about his missing his marks and leaning against things and such.  It could be that, or it could be that it got real personal.  The timing of when he was first suspended from the show was two days after Charlie made his first public comments against Chuck Lorre,” notes the attorney, referring to the “Two and a Half Men” creator/producer that Sheen termed “a clown” and “Chaim Levine.”

Langberg points out that reports of Sheen’s wild behavior are nothing new.  He’s “been on Howard Stern’s show and other shows making comments about prostitutes and drugs before now.  Did they weigh their morals clauses then?  What changed?  That is what the case is going to turn on  — whether or not they can prove that something different was effecting his peformance, or the safety of his performance happening.”

What happens if Charlie gets 5150’ed?  “If the family gets him committed, even temporarily, it will confirm what seems readily apparant to anybody who watches the internet or television.  And maybe it will make it more pursuasive for the studio,” Langberg observes.

“I remember sometime in the late ’90s, when Charlie first publicly had these  problems.  Martin made it ovious he would do whatever it took to save his son,” adds Langberg, referring to comments the elder Sheen made to  reporters as Charlie recovered from a 1998 drug overdose — “whatever he’s able to do.”