Archive for the ‘Celebrities’ Category

Borat Victory

January 19, 2008

The Alabama Supreme Court has sided with Borat.  Kathie Martin, the owner of the Etiquette School of Birmingham, lost her case against Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat, and Twentieth Century Fox Films, at least in Alabama.  Based upon the standard consent agreement signed by Martin before she was filmed with Cohen, Martin agreed to be bound by New York venue. 

The trial court had ruled that the agreement was void, but the Supreme Court of Alabama disagreed, and said the dispute should be resolved in New York.  This is an example of why you should have an attorney review legal documents before you sign them.  Maybe Ms. Martin should have asked more questions about the provisions such as the venue of New York as well as the provisions which gave the producer the ability to use the footage “‘without restriction in any media throughout the universe.'” The contract also had Martin agree that she “wouldn’t bring lawsuits arising from ‘surprise about the film.'”  Wouldn’t that make a reasonable person somewhat suspicious?

Source:  Saturday, January 19 Birmingham News

Kanye West’s Mother

November 14, 2007

So, some government officials want caps on malpractice claims.  The plastic surgeon who operated on Donda West, mother of Kanye West, has faced two malpractice lawsuits which resulted in settlements, and he has been arrested twice for driving under the influence.  Kanye West’s mother is now dead at age 58 most likely because this doctor is still practicing.

This is the problem.  The profession does not properly police itself, and what the profession does to its own is not made public.  Would Donda West have allowed this doctor to treat her if she knew about his history?  It’s doubtful.  Is Ms. West’s life worth only $250,000.00 in non-economic damages (the proposed cap by the George Bush administration)?  No!  The insurance carrier which insured this doctor should have taken action to put this physician out of business instead of providing insurance, and that carrier and this doctor should pay through the nose for her death if it is shown he committed malpractice.

Caps do nothing but allow incompetence to thrive.  This physician may not have committed malpractice in this case, but based upon his history, he shouldn’t have been given the chance to commit malpractice – AGAIN!

Hilton’s Incarceration

June 10, 2007

Well, Paris Hilton’s “medical condition” was not enough to get her to house arrest.  Did she almost get a break because she is a celebrity, or did she receive too much punishment because she is a celebrity?  Do we really care?  It seems as though we put celebrities and athletes on pedestals in this country.  So much so that they make more money than almost any other industry.  What does that show?  We like to be entertained.  If the public didn’t watch and pay for these movies and events, television networks would not pay so much to air them, and advertisers would not pay so much to the networks for advertising. 

This affinity for entertainment seems to put our societal values out of whack.  Shouldn’t professions such as doctors, teachers, military personnel, and engineers be paid enormous salaries for what they do?  Doctors save lives and prolong life.  Isn’t that more important than the value of entertainment?  Teachers teach our children (and entertain them I might add), and yet, teachers are some of the lowest paid professionals.  Could there be a more important profession than teaching our children?  Our soldiers are helping to protect our freedom and putting their lives at greater risk in that effort.  Engineers help invent new and better methods for living our lives be it in building and construction, computers, biology, etc. 

Yet, notwithstanding these noble professions, we continue to be obsessed with athletes and entertainers.  Do we really care whether Paris Hilton spends 3 days in jail or 23 days?  Are we concerned that it reflects the unfairness of our justice system?  Or, does it take our mind off the realities of life:  war, poverty, starvation, work, etc.?  It is probably the sum of all of those things.  It is also probably a function of the fact that we have many new media outlets and too many news stations competing for news.  There are many stories we follow on news stations today that wouldn’t have made national news 20 years ago because the communication of such stories was not as easy 20 years ago.  Do we really care about a lot of these news stories?  No, but it’s entertaining, and we like to be entertained.

Costly Divorces

April 14, 2007

Big money divorces.  They make the money, and when the marriage doesn’t work out, the spouse makes it too.  When Michael Jordan’s divorce is complete, his ex stands to receive more than $150,000,000.00 according to Forbes Magazine.  In 1996, Neil Diamond paid an estimated $150,000,000.00 to his second wife, and Steven Spielberg had to pay about $100,000,000.00 to Amy Irving in 1989.  Can you say prenuptial agreement?


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