Celebrities Who Are Currently Being Sued

Celebrity status can be so intoxicating. Those affected get to make up their own rules, from gaining access to the world's most exclusive parties to influencing impressionable fans concerning Twitter's latest trending cause. Take it from Donald Trump, whose embrace of stardom's potency helped lead him to the world's most powerful office. Scandals notwithstanding, it's tough to argue with the Don, who infamously remarked on a controversial Access Hollywood out-take in 2005, "And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything."

This can ring true unless you land into legal trouble – a common situation for Trump these days. In May, he was successfully sued for sexual assault and defamation by writer E. Jean Carroll and had to fork over to the plaintiff $5 million in damages. More favorable outcomes don't always pass the optics test either. Johnny Depp may have fared better than his ex, Amber Heard, in the lawsuits they lobbed against each other in 2022, but not without considerable damage to his reputation. Guitarist Ed Sheeran had to win not one, but two lawsuits over allegations that his hit "Thinking Out Loud," didn't plagiarize the late Marvin Gaye 1973 classic "Let's Get It On." A lawsuit is devastating enough for those not-so-famous types, but it's even tougher for celebs trying to wrap their heads around the notion that justice is blind regarding the privileged. That said, here's what on celebrity dockets these days.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Jimmie Allen faces legal trouble involving sexual assault

Country music culture might have its share of honky-tonk hell-raisers, but there's one line none of them would even think about crossing. But in May, twangster Jimmie Allen found himself accused of venturing in that taboo territory when he was handed legal papers from a former employee of his management company, alleging that he had repeatedly sexually assaulted and abused her for at least 18 months (via Variety). The employee, cited as Jane Doe, claimed she endured several accounts of Allen groping her and even masturbating in front of her. She added that he took her virginity against her will one night after an "American Idol" taping in 2021. "He held me in place," she said. "At that point, any physical will was just out the door. I was pretty much paralyzed."

Allen dismissed those allegations in a prepared statement, claiming his relationship was consensual. "It is deeply troubling and hurtful that someone I counted as one of my closest friends, colleagues and confidants would make allegations that have no truth to them whatsoever," he said. A week later, Allen released a statement concerning his behavior with the plaintiff. "I want to publicly apologize to my wife Alexis for humiliating her with my affair," he said (via People). "I'm embarrassed that my choices have brought shame on her. That's something that she did not deserve at all." Allen and his wife separated earlier in 2023, before the lawsuit was made public.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Bad Bunny allegedly stole two songs

Bad Bunny might have a lofty perch in the Latin music scene, but his riches might spike or drop pending the outcome of a lawsuit launched in March 2023 by his ex-girlfriend, Carliz De La Cruz Hernández. According to BBC, the plaintiff is seeking $40 million in damages for not being credited on two Bad Bunny songs, "Pa Ti" and "Dos Mil 16," which each contain one line that she claimed was her contribution to the works. The line? "Bad Bunny baby," of which De La Cruz said she sang several takes into her cellphone app in 2015. Back when the performer was better known as Benito Martínez Ocasio, Bad Bunny added her track to a few Soundcloud recordings, but when "Pa Ti" was about to be included on an album, Hernandez said she refused a $2,000 payout absolving her of ownership of those tracks.

Lawsuit documents add that besides the records, the De La Cruz sample can be heard on promotions, concerts, TV, and social media platforms. "This has caused, and currently causes, that De La Cruz feels worried, anguished, intimidated, overwhelmed and anxious," read one document (via Guardian). One Puerto Rican intellectual property rights lawyer believes Bad Bunny and his associates could have nipped this debacle in the bud. "If a lawyer had sat down with this and really given it some thought," said Ramón G. Vela Córdova to Vice, "they would've said, 'Let's resolve this before it becomes an issue.'" 

Israel Adesanya fights to keep half his fortune

Mixed martial arts fighter Israel Adesanya has plenty of physical tools to administer his form of justice. But the UFC champ will have to leave those devices in the octagon to face another fight, in this case, a lawsuit filed in May 2023 by his former girlfriend. Per Pulse Sports, Adesanya's ex, Charlotte Powdrell, is asking for literally half of the pugilist's earnings, claiming she supported him long before he established his credentials in the fight game. The civil suit's timing hardly seems coincidental, considering the $3 million purse Adesanya reportedly earned after regaining his middleweight title a month earlier. Although the relationship was first made public in 2019, the couple had apparently been seeing each other for years. They broke up in 2020.

While Powdrell is keeping mum about the upcoming court case, Adesanya had already blurted out his feelings on the situation via social media. "Very relatable," commented Adesanya on Instagram (via Daily Mail). '"Imagine being so f****n entitled that you think you deserve what a man has worked his whole life for. When you came into this life with nothing and tried to leave with millions." 

So far, Adesanya has fellow UFC fighter Kevin O'Malley in his corner. "I don't know how their relationship was ever because I didn't even know he had a girlfriend," O'Malley said on his podcast, "The BrOMalley Show," adding, "but to want half of his s**t, to want half of what he's gone out there and done, is absolutely ridiculous."

Alec Baldwin is getting sued by a family in Ukraine

The filming of "Rust" may have forever corroded the reputation of Alec Baldwin, its star and executive producer. But for now, the actor's legal problems concerning the project continue to pile up, triggered by the fatal, on-set shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchens in 2021. The latest shock wave to hit Baldwin — who accidentally killed the crew member with a prop gun during filming — arrived in April 2023 via a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Hutchens's family of origin, currently residing in Ukraine. "Mr Baldwin may pretend that he is not responsible for pulling the trigger and ejecting a live bullet which ended Halyna's life," said Hutchens's family attorney Gloria Allred in a prepared statement (via BBC). "He can run to Montana and pretend that he is just an actor in a wild west movie but, in real life, he cannot escape from the fact that he had a major role in a tragedy which had real life consequences."

Baldwin declared the suit "misguided" in court documents, per New York Post. "The loss of a daughter and sister is undoubtedly painful in any circumstance," he added. "Yet Plaintiffs — who had been distanced from Halyna physically, financially, and emotionally for years before her death — have no viable cause of action against Defendants." The suit, originally filed in February, moved ahead shortly after the court dropped two charges of involuntary manslaughter against the actor. Baldwin also settled a lawsuit filed by husband Matthew Hutchins.

Tom Brady and others land in cryptocurrency hot water

NFL legend Tom Brady and comedian Larry David may not have much in common, but one thread they share is something they'd like to sever. Late in 2022, Edwin Garrison, who invested in cryptocurrency exchange company FTX, named both celebs, along with NBA aces Shaquille O'Neal and Stephen Curry and tennis player Naomi Osaka in a class-action lawsuit claiming their high-profile clout contributed to the firm's financial downfall. FTX lost billions in the volatile cryptocurrency market, and eventually declared bankruptcy. The suit claimed the celebs willingly took part in the marketing of FTX, including a major promotion event in Florida, and attracted investors who lost their funds due to the company's faulty business model.

According to the lawsuit, "Part of the scheme employed by the FTX Entities involved utilizing some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment — like these Defendants — to raise funds and drive American consumers to invest ... pouring billions of dollars into the deceptive FTX platform to keep the whole scheme afloat" (via Associated Press). Among the defendants, David was most vocal when it came to explaining his alleged culpability. "I did not appear in Florida on behalf of any FTX entity nor did I take any action in the State of Florida related to the advertising contract," responded the star in a statement (via Business Insider). U.S. authorities also started to investigate allegations that FTX used client funds to invest in several ventures without their knowledge or consent.

Nick Carter faces two sexual assault lawsuits

For years, the Backstreet Boys have landed a legion of female fans, but one of its singers, Nick Carter, has received more than just love notes from his following, including papers filed in April 2023 naming him as a defendant in a sexual assault lawsuit. The plaintiff, singer Melissa Schuman, claimed Carter sexually assaulted her in 2002 , and was forced to engage in oral sex with the performer, who also allegedly took her virginity. Schuman notified the police 15 years later, but the District Attorney balked at prosecuting Carter since the statute of limitations had already passed. Recently, an amendment extending those limitations prompted Schuman's lawyers to sue Carter instead .

"I am shocked and saddened by Ms. Schuman's accusations," said Carter in a statement (via USA Today). "Melissa never expressed to me while we were together or at any time since that anything we did was not consensual." Schuman, for her part, also released a statement. "I've faced extraordinary backlash for standing up for myself; I am not the first, however my intention is that I am the last," she said (via People). "It's time that powerful figures in the music industry get the message that they can no longer afford to enable and protect sexual predators. I'm fighting to make the music industry a safer place to work and perform." Carter was also named in a lawsuit filed by Shannon Ruth, who claimed the singer sexually assaulted her in a tour bus.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

50 Cent called out a rapper for ratting to authorities

Hip-hop artist and TV producer 50 Cent, whose own street cred as a drug dealer is legendary, isn't crazy about celebrities who tip off the law. In April 2023, after reading in Rolling Stone that rapper and former Fugees performer Pras — whose real name is Prakazrel Michel — was an FBI informant, Fitty (aka Curtis James Jackson III) commented on Instagram, "I knew this fool was a Rat! I'm glad I never f**ck with this guy" (via Los Angeles Times). Michel got wind of the social media entry (since deleted) and fearing for his career and safety, decided to sue 50 Cent, NBA star Kyrie Irving — who made similar comments online — and Rolling Stone.

"Labeling a hip-hop artist such as Michel, the reputation of whom is dependent upon 'street credibility' and not being a 'snitch,' a 'government informant' most certainly tends to subject said hip-hop artist to hatred, distrust, ridicule, contempt and/or disgrace, along with injury in their trade or profession" declared Jonathan Noah Schwartz, Michel's lawyer (via New York Post). The hubbub sprang from Michel's own legal trial that saw him convicted of his connection to a Malaysian tycoon's illicit influence scheme that included persuading the U.S. government to extradite a Chinese dissident. Michel testified that he approached authorities on his own volition, which sparked the informant allegations. "I was never in the past, present, or future an FBI or a CIA informant," Michel said to TMZ. "Never ever."

Rudy Giuliani allegedly abused an employee

Decades from now, historians will stumble upon the name Rudy Giuliani and wonder what the heck happened to that man. This was the same guy who, as a New York District Attorney during the '80s, successfully took on the Mafia and crooked Wall Street executives, before becoming the city's mayor who cut crime in half and became a figure of stability in the aftermath of 9/11. Things changed when he became Donald Trump's lawyer and quicker than anyone can say "The Big Lie," Giuliani was implicated with everything from campaign-finance illegalities to helping to orchestrate the overturning of the 2020 Federal Election . Giuliani's public profile turned even uglier in May 2023 when former employee Noelle Dunphy filed suit against the embattled barrister, claiming he constantly sexually abused and harassed her in the workplace. Dunphy is, as of this writing, seeking $10 million in damages.

Dunphy, who was hired by Guiliani in 2019, included several graphic accounts of her interaction with him in the court document. One passage, paraphrased in Vanity Fair, summed up Dunphy's complaint: "Giuliani began abusing Ms. Dunphy almost immediately after she started working [for him]" and "made clear that satisfying his sexual demands — which came virtually anytime, anywhere — was an absolute requirement of her employment and of his legal representation." Not surprisingly, Giuliani has denied all the allegations. "Mayor Giuliani's lifetime of public service speaks for itself, and he will pursue all available remedies and counterclaims," said Ted Goodman, the defendant's spokesperson (via Reuters).

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Lady Gaga faces legal action from her dog thief

A civil case involving singer Lady Gaga has literally gone to the dogs. It began in February, 2022 when she lost two prized French bulldogs in a heist that resulted in her dog walker, Ryan Fischer, receiving a gunshot wound. Shortly after Gaga posted a $500,000 reward for the return of her animals, "no questions asked," a woman named Jennifer McBride found them, with police eventually arresting five perpetrators , including Fischer's shooter, who received a 21-year jail sentence. But Gaga refused to pay McBride the reward money when authorities discovered she was in on the canine caper.

McBride received a two-year probation sentence in the dognapping, but still felt entitled to the $500,000 reward, due to the "no questions asked" stipulation. In her February court filing, McBride — who's seeking $1.5 million in damages — claimed Gaga "never intended to honor their unilateral offer to pay the reward money," adding that the reward was posted "with the intent to defraud and induce members of the public to rely upon it and to act upon said promise" (via USA Today). While neither Gaga nor her legal team have commented on the allegations, one Los Angeles attorney not connected with the case weighed in on the lawsuit. "It was clear from the evidence presented to the grand jury that Ms. McBride knew the dogs have been stolen in a violent robbery in which Ryan Fischer had been grievously injured," said Michele Hanisee to NBC.

William H. Macy gets into trouble over cutting trees

Actor William H. Macy is taking liberties on an old philosophical yarn that, in his case, reads: If a tree falls on someone else's property, who gets sued for it? It's also the gist of a civil case filing against Macy alleging that the actor hired a landscaping contractor in 2021 to cut down trees on his neighbor's land. Court documents filed in April by Pierce Brown, Macy's neighbor, claims "Macy's workers then destroyed and removed or seriously damaged several healthy, decades-old mature pine trees and other vegetation from the Brown Property" (via People). The complaint claimed that "the pine trees and other vegetation were located well inside of the Brown Property line," and that "in accessing the Brown Property, Macy's workers damaged the gate that connected the two properties." 

Brown, who was on vacation when Macy's contractors were working, is seeking $600,000 in damages, that include a devaluation of his property and emotional distress over the loss of the trees. But a lawyer specializing in property altercations between neighbors, says the monetary compensation could multiply, given that California law has rigid laws regarding tree preservation. "The law is pretty clear, if you step on someone else's property and cut down their trees, there's going to be liability," said real estate attorney Zachary Schorr to ABC News. "You're supposed to award double the value of the damage to the trees and then there's another code section and that allows for three times the value."

Elon Musk is accused of starting a pyramid scheme

In his rise to become one of the world's richest men, entrepreneur Elon Musk has relied on many investors to fund his projects. While the strategy seems to have worked for Musk's ventures like SpaceX and Tesla, the same can't be said about his support of Dogecoin cryptocurrency. In April 2023, facing several investors who banded together in 2022 to sue him for $258 billion over claims of racketeering, Musk's lawyers asked a federal court judge to throw the case out. As of this writing, adjudicators haven't complied with the request, while investors prepare a case alleging that Musk's frequent promotion of Dogecoin on social media and on shows like "Saturday Night Live," in which he parodied his support of Dogecoin as a "hustle" is akin to a pyramid scheme. "We are more confident than ever that our case will be successful," said Evan Spencer, one of the lawyers representing the investors (via Reuters).

Investors claim that Musk's publicity spiked Dogecoin's price by more than 36,000% during a two-year period before allowing its value to drop, which short-changed anyone who had a stake in the currency. Musk's legal team contends no law exists that forbids a celebrity to endorse a product or even use humor to elevate its profile. Musk even said the origin of Dogecoin was satirical. "Even though it was created as a silly joke, dogecoin is actually better suited for transactions [than bitcoin]," he said to Time in 2012 (via Independent).

Tim Robbins is named in a harassment suit

No doubt Academy Award-winner Tim Robbins, best known for his lead role in "The Shawshank Redemption," can perform in front of the Panavisions. But the jury might be out on his ability to run a theater company, so to speak. In April 2023, Matea Galeana, lobbed a wrongful termination suit against Actor's Gang Inc., a Los Angeles-based company Robbins co-founded in 1981, claiming it violated several labor codes including some covered by the California Family Rights Act. Galeanna was pregnant when she was fired from her marketing and communications job at Actor's Gang in 2022, after discovering she wouldn't be paid for maternity leave or undergoing surgery to alleviate complications concerning her condition. "Defendants accepted plaintiff's request, but stopped paying her," cited court documents filed on behalf of Galeana, whose child died four hours after birth in November (via CBS).

Robbins was not named as a defendant in the lawsuit although he is singled out as a main contributor to a toxic work environment at the theater company. One reference claims Robbins "screamed at employees, accusing them of stealing money without any basis." So far, news of the lawsuit is the sole black mark on the company, currently celebrating its 40th anniversary . In 2022, Robbins didn't address any workplace issues, but curiously said performers in his company were well-compensated. "We're still keeping the budget way down, but we're spending most of our money just paying actors," he said (via American Theatre).

Martin Scorsese got paid for a project he didn't work on

For all the movies that Martin Scorsese has directed, from "Goodfellas" and "Casino" to "Taxi Driver" and "Hugo," you'd have to search long and hard to find a real-life scandal that affected those projects. But one endeavor that he apparently didn't work on has resulted in a lawsuit launched against him. In May 2023, Brit production company Op-Fortitude Inc. took legal action against Scorsese, who pocketed a $500,000 advance, but apparently didn't dedicate any time towards creating a World War II drama highlighting a crucial, but little-known, initiative associated with D-Day. "In the 15 months that have passed since the agreement was signed, Mr. Scorsese has done nothing whatsoever in furtherance of production of the picture, and has been completely unresponsive to Op-Fortitude's repeated attempts to reach him," said the company in the lawsuit (via Bloomberg).

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Op-Fortitude and LBI Entertainment, which represents Scorsese and his Sikelia production company, struck a deal late in 2021, which was to have seen the director perform groundwork on casting and production on the movie, "Operation Fortitude," which was slated to begin filming the following year. When Op-Fortitude received no word on the film's progress from Scorsese, a conversation with an LBI rep confirmed that if the venture was canceled, Scorsese's advance would be returned. But once Op-Fortitude killed the deal, Scorsese claimed the company had no right to do so and refused to return his advance.

Morgan Wallen is taken to task by a disgruntled fan

Country fans are a bizarre lot when it comes to priorities. Take Morgan Wallen for instance, who was suspended by his label in 2021 for uttering a racial slur on video, only to see his record sales spike in response. But when Wallen canceled an April 2023 show at the last minute in Mississippi after losing his voice, all hell broke loose. The situation prompted patron Brandi Burcham to sue the singer when she didn't receive her promised point-of-purchase refund. She dropped the complaint until a lawyer representing other disgruntled ticket holders filed a class action lawsuit. "Tens of thousands of people collectively spent millions to attend this event," said law firm Langston & Lott on a since-deleted social media post (via WLBT-TV), adding, "and those affected are entitled to know the truth and to be made whole." 

Wallen said that he suffered from vocal fold trauma after straining his pipes at concerts in Florida and subsequently had to cancel six weeks of shows to rest his voice, but on his Instagram Story (via Entertainment Weekly), he revisited the ill-fated show in Mississippi. "I really thought I'd be able to take the stage and it kills me to deliver this so close to showtime, but my voice is shot and I am unable to sing," he said. "All tickets will be refunded at point of purchase. I am so sorry, I promise you guys I tried everything I could."

Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis deal with a nanny

The split between actors Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis in 2023 was elevated even more by the photogenic presence of One Direction's Harry Styles and a child custody battle. But what flew under the radar was another case of civil court business that further burdened the crumbling couple. Enter their nanny, Ericka Genaro, who sued the twosome for wrongful termination in February 2023 after she asked for three days of stress leave, per Page Six. Wilde had already moved out of the home by that time, which added up to more responsibility for Genaro to care for their two children, making the nanny more anxious and depressed. "Wilde's sudden absence from the home had an adverse consequence on its emotional state, including Sudeikis leaning on the presence of [Genaro] for support," claimed the filed documents (via Us Weekly).

Sudeikis and Wilde have retaliated with papers of their own, claiming that Genaro shouldn't have filed a lawsuit in a California court, but should have sought an arbitrator in New York. "It is unfortunate that this private matter continues to play out in the press," added the former couple in a joint statement (per TMZ). "Our focus has been and will continue to be to steadfastly protect our family in the face of harassment of any kind. We are confident that the evidence brought forward will affirm our position to summarily dismiss this case and bring our family peace."