Celebrities live a life that’s unfathomable to most of us. The glitz and glamour, the constant travel and endless opportunities, even their most basic day-to-day lives can seem straight out of another world. Even the lawsuits filed against celebrities are outlandish.
When most of us, and by us, I mean people here in the regular world who work regular 9-5’s and take one vacation a year, think of lawsuits we think of discrimination cases or breach of contract filings. We don’t really have the time, or the means, or even the desire to set a whole court process in action over anything less than mega-serious. But celebrities are a whole different breed. We’ve rounded up 18 of the craziest celebrity lawsuits for you, ranging from almost-making-sense to totally out of control.
18. Mila Kunis
Some people may not know this, but Mila Kunis did not grow up in this country. The That ‘70s Show actress was actually born in the Ukraine, and lived there until she was seven. Well, one of Kunis’s childhood best friends, Ukraine citizen Kristina Karo, sued her famous actress pal in 2015 for stealing a chicken. Apparently, back in the first grade, the two women bonded over this pet chicken named Doggie. It was a love fierce enough that Kunis eventually stole the chicken, and the loss sent Karo into therapy for years. When Karo moved to L.A. later in life to pursue a singing career, her proximity to Kunis sent her back to those dark days and she fell into a depression over the stolen chicken once again. So she sued Kunis for $5,000 to cover the therapy costs, or, ya know, to get herself a little tabloid coverage.
17. Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan may be untouchable on the court, but in real life, he’s a lot more accessible. At least for one man. In 2009, Allen Heckard sued the former Bulls superstar for “defamation, permanent injury and emotional pain.” It wasn’t because he lost in a game of one-on-one, but because he felt the NBA baller looked a little too much like him. Both men have bald heads and an earring, but that’s about where the similarities end. Jordan is a good half a foot taller than Heckard and has the body of a gold medalist while Heckard looks a little more like your average office worker. But the Portland, Oregon man was so tired of getting confused for Jordan that he sued Michael for $416 million for “the inconvenience.” Heckard also sued Nike for an additional $416 million, for “his part in making Michael Jordan a household name.” What?! Obviously, the multi-million dollar lawsuit was ultimately dropped.
Rappers find themselves in the middle of lawsuits a lot. Usually, it’s over stolen lyrics or a beat used without proper credit, but Diddy found himself in court for a completely different reason. Valerie Turks levied a whole host of complaints against the mogul several years back. Among them? She claimed that Diddy was the father of her child and had never paid a dime in child support. Additionally, she said he had stolen a casino chip from her that was worth “100’s of zillions of dollars.” And to top it all off, she was upset that the rapper caused the World Trade Center to collapse on 9/11. She alleged that Diddy and Rodney King went through the two towers knocking them down on top of her and her children, which caused them to be sent to the hospital where they were then sexually assaulted. It’s important to note that Valerie was not in New York City the day the towers came down. She asked for $900 billion in child support and $100 billion for loss of income due to the chip disappearing and the 9/11 thing. She got nothing.
15. Elvis Presley
Sometimes even dead celebrities can’t get any peace. Several years ago, a man in Fort Worth, Texas filed a lawsuit against the great Elvis Presley for emotional damages. The man wasn’t just upset that the legend had died, although he did admit that was a part of it (the nerve!). He was primarily upset because Elvis kept calling him. Yep, you heard that right. The Texas man apparently received so many calls from Elvis that it was driving his phone bill up exorbitantly and was having a very negative impact on his mental health. He felt that he had no choice but to crack down on the King. There is yet to be a verdict in this paranormal case, but we’d have to imagine that in the afterlife Elvis has a lot more important things to be doing than to be showing up in court.
14. Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian and Mariah Carey
Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian and Mariah Carey are all Hollywood icons. They also all found themselves as defendants in the same lawsuit. What happened? A Bronx woman, named Tina Seals, sued all three celebrities, claiming that she was the real mother to the women’s children (Blue Ivy, North West, and Monroe and Morocco are all hers, according to the suit). We’re not really sure how she figures this one, especially because all three women were photographed so heavily throughout their pregnancies and delivered their own children, but it must fit in there somewhere with the crazy Hollywood conspiracies. She asked Mariah for “5 vocal lessons, 5 albums mixed, mastered and distributed by her label, and her endorsement.” No word on what she wanted from the other two women, but it had to have been good.
13. Gwyneth Paltrow
If you don’t read the tabloids regularly, or avoid E! at all costs, then you may not be aware that actress and GOOP editor Gwyneth Paltrow was married to Coldplay frontman Chris Martin. The two divorced, or “consciously uncoupled,” in 2016. Two years prior to all of that, Gwyneth was sued by Chris Martin. But not that Chris Martin. A Florida man of the same name levied a lawsuit against the actress, seeking $10 million and a restraining order because Gwyneth just wouldn’t stop stalking him. He claimed that the two had been romantically involved and that Gwyneth was getting paid $500,000 a month by Donald Sterling so that the couple could create the Clippers owner a “Nazi Aryan” bevy of children. Problem was, fake Chris Martin was “gay, smoking medical marijuana and deal[ing] with PTSD so he just didn’t have time for this relationship anymore.” He wanted out. Unfortunately, since he told the courts that his home address was the Manhattan headquarters of Pfizer, things never really got settled.
12. Kim Kardashian
It’s not surprising that Kim Kardashian has found herself involved in more than one lawsuit. When you’re that big of a brand and involved in so many things, it’s sort of bound to happen. One man, in particular, asked for a restraining order against the reality queen. It was necessary because he claimed had a sex tape in his possession of Kim K. and Florida Senator Marco Rubio, and that Kim kept harassing him and threatening him because she didn’t want it released. Things got so bad that one time Kim, along with sisters Kourtney Kardashian and Khloe Kardashian “sped up to [him] in an A-Team van, jumped out in burglar masks with crowbars and began bashing [him].” Kim also “jammed the water hose down in [his] mouth, Khloe pushed a giant squeegee in [his] face, and [he] was lathered down with hot soapy water by the defendants,” according to the bizarre lawsuit. The man was offended by the incident. We’re offended that he’s sharing his weird sexual fantasy, disguised as a lawsuit, with all of us.
11. Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson is another celebrity that everyone wants a piece of. His estate his huge, and his reputation is even bigger. Colorado man, Vincent E. Loggins, was well aware of this when he filed his lawsuit against the late singer. Loggins claimed that he was fathered by the Godfather of soul himself, James Brown, and then alleged that the music gene was so deep and alive in him that Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson and Berry Gordie had all stolen his music because it was so great that they wanted it for themselves. But he was primarily seeking royalties for “Thriller.” Loggins told the courts that he had written the lyrics for the song “on pulp with indian ink” while living in Oklahoma. An air-tight argument that he was owed all that money if you ask us. Lol.
10. KeKe Palmer
KeKe Palmer may not be doing as much these days, but that’s not one woman’s problem. Suki Lee asked a judge for $800 billion dollars for her troubles. The California woman claimed that KeKe had used Twitter to impersonate her, and was, in effect, stealing her identity. She was also upset with Justin Bieber, and TLC rapper T-Boz for stealing her music, which she had posted on the internet before they claimed it as their own, and sold it for millions of dollars. She cited all three musicians, their entire families, and the CEO of Twitter in her case, with KeKe listed as the primary defendant. The judge tossed it.
9. Dancing with the Stars
In 2010, Dancing with the Stars had a pretty good cast. Shannen Doherty, Nicole Sherzinger, Chad Ochocinco and Buzz Aldrin all tried their feet on the ballroom floor that year. But one Pennsylvania man was unhappy about it. He sued the show, and its entire cast, for “promoting adultery.” Yes, really. He said, “[the show was] discriminating against … Muslim faith by promoting adultery and dancing is forbidden in Islam and we are being forced to watch the defendants enjoy themselves on television while billions of people in the world can not afford a TV set.” Additionally, “defendants don’t care about global hunger and defendants dirty dancing acts offends us, and promotes sexual activity for minors watching the show.” He wanted a restraining order, but after finding out that he’d once sued himself, the judge shot him down. File this one under ‘crazy to the max.’
If this Kanye–Drake beef has taught you anything, it should be that rappers don’t always write their own lyrics. It’s not at all uncommon to have a ghostwriter behind the scenes helping flush out rhymes. Well, a Florida man named Jeffrey Philistin, sued Jay-Z for $90 million, claiming that he had been a ghostwriter for the rapper all the way up to 2014 and had never received a dime, or any credit, for his work. Philistin was in jail for an unrelated crime at the time, and a fellow inmate suggested that he write to the rapper and send him some lyric suggestions. Then, on a Watch the Throne track, those lyrics showed up, according to the plaintiff, and Jay-Z sent the man a letter saying, “You gave me the most help in this music industry, but I refuse to pay you. … I know you are thinking I am a millionaire but that’s just how it is I have con [sic] you.” In the end, the “universal god language” taught Philistin that Jay-Z wasn’t worth a $90 million payout.
7. Clint Eastwood
The longer you’ve been in Hollywood, the crazier the lawsuits you’ve seen levied against you. Take Clint Eastwood, for example. The Dirty Harry actor was once sued by a Michigan woman for $343 million over a stolen movie script case. The woman, Jill Crittenden, alleged that a group of her co-workers stole the movie script from her home, and in their escape, threw the script over the fence that surrounded Clint Eastwood’s home (in California). The actor-director must have picked the script up from his lawn, read through it, and decided to go ahead and produce it… without giving her any credit or royalties, obviously. The woman, unsurprisingly, didn’t get her money.
6. Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj may not live a stone’s throw away from Newark, New Jersey anymore, but there’s still a lawsuit against her open in the state. A New Jersey man filed a case against Ms. Minaj in Newark’s federal court, accusing her of “sexual abuse” and “soliciting sex.” The only compensation he’s seeking? A sex contract. Talk about male privilege getting out of control. It sounds to us like this guy was just angry that Nicki (who’s never even met her accuser) wouldn’t have sex with him, so he’s trying to take her to court so that she’ll have to. Get a grip, sir.
5. Lisa Marie Presley
We’ve all looked at a celebrity’s life before and thought about all the things we’d do to be able to live that way. Wouldn’t it be nice to have all the entrapments of that kind of lifestyle? Well, one Swedish woman thinks she’s figured out exactly how to get the celebrity lifestyle without having to, you know, earn it. For more than twenty years, Lisa Johansen has alleged that Lisa Marie Presley has falsely assumed her identity and stolen the life that’s rightfully hers. In 2011, she finally decided enough was enough and began a lawsuit against Lisa Marie for $130 million, claiming that the two had been switched as children and that it was time for Lisa Marie to switch back. Things stalled, however, when Lisa Johansen refused to take a DNA test. Fishy.
4. Steve Jobs and Sarah Jessica Parker
Have you ever had that thing happen where you think of a really great idea — a product, or service or app — and then a few months later, you find that it already exists? And you always feel a little bit like someone stole your idea even though you know that’s definitely not possible? Well, Franz A Wakefield does. He sued Steve Jobs claiming that the tech magnate had stolen the idea for the iPod, iPhone, and iTunes from him. He also dragged Sarah Jessica Parker into the case, saying that they two had “made a trade secret” deal and that she was supposed to endorse the products in exchange for a cut of the profits. He was pretty sure she was the one who had gone to Steve Jobs with the idea because she would have gotten a bigger cut from him. Seems likely… right?
3. David Copperfield and David Blaine
David Copperfield and David Blaine are two of the best magicians to ever walk the planet. Seeing them in action is almost freaky because there really doesn’t seem to be any explanation for how they do what they do. They seem to be bending the rules of the universe, which is rather unsettling. Christopher Roller agrees and actually sued both men in 2005, demanding that they reveal their secrets and give him a percentage of their profits. He really thought that he had a case because he thought they were using “godly powers” to do the magic. Which was unacceptable because he, Christopher Roller, was actually God. And he did not give them permission to steal his powers. Settle down, dude, no one understands how they do those tricks. That’s what makes it magic.
2. Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda
We’ve all seen movies and felt like scenes from them exactly mirror our lives. For me, it’s that one from Disney’s The Princess and the Frog where Tiana gets home from work and flops face-first onto her bed. I feel that exhaustion on a personal level. For one woman, it was every scene in the Jennifer Lopez–Jane Fonda comedy Monster in Law. In fact, she felt that it mirrored her life so strongly that the material must have been stolen. She wanted a cut of the $155 million that the movie made at the box office, saying that it was her due share since they stole the film from her actual life.
1. Oprah Winfrey
You’d have to be really certain of your case to go against Oprah Winfrey. Aside from the fact that she has enough money to keep a case going until you run out, she’s also tough as nails and would never concede to something that’s not the absolute truth. One Texas man learned this the hard way when he sued the mogul for $1 trillion, accusing her of copyright infringement. The queen of daytime TV stole some of his poetry, claiming it for her own, and he was upset, according to the legal filings. Unluckily for him, his claim was dismissed quickly, and he never even got to set foot in court to meet his idol.