When you’re a celebrity, you have to be prepared for everything… including people who take advantage of you using your fame. Also, beware of people who will just sue you and try to milk you dry.
[Also read how Louboutin sued YSL]
The real secret is to keep from being overly paranoid as demonstrated by some of the biggest names in Hollywood. But where do you draw the line? Here are the SoJones list of Bizzare Celebrity Fashion Lawsuits that might intrigue you!
1. Vanna White vs Samsung Electronics
Ah, the good ol’ days of spinning the Wheel of Fortune! Samsung ran an ad in the late 80’s with a blonde robot wearing an evening dress. The robot’s job was turning letters on a game show. This hit too close to home for Vanna White, who built her fame turning letters for Pat Sajak. Ms. White sued the electronics giant and won. What would happen if the robot had not worn an evening dress? (Read about Samsung’s Android smartphone and Snoop Dogg.)
2. Allen Heckard vs Michael Jordan and Phil Knight
We all know about NIKE and Michael Jordan’s deal when it comes to shoes. Air Jordans have been everywhere for the past few decades and nothing seemed able to stop it. Apparently, Allen Heckard took the phrase “like Mike” to a whole different level. As a guy who claims to look like Michael Jordan, he was tired of constantly being asked to give autographs and pose for pictures. Heckard sued Jordan for looking alike and he also sued NIKE founder, Phil Knight, for $832 million for promoting Jordan and making him a household name and face.When asked how he came up with $832 million figure, he answered:
“Well, you figure with my age and you multiply that times seven and ah, then I turn around and ah I figure that’s what it all boils down to.”
Yeah, we didn’t think so too. (Read about the evolution of Air Jordans.)
3. Dustin Hoffman vs Los Angeles Magazine
The upside of being somebody as talented as Dustin Hoffman is the opportunity to be a movie star. The downside, however, is knowing your images can be exploited by the general public. Dustin Hoffman had to sue Los Angeles magazine in 1999, where the publication photoshopped a picture of him in a spangled dress from “Tootsie” -Dustin Hoffman starred as a woman in the movie – but put him in a different gown and heels. Hoffman sued the magazine for $5 million and won $3 million.
4. Ralph Lauren vs Polo
You’re thinking why would Ralph sue his own brand, but this is not his Polo. You see, Polo could mean two things: the official publication of the U.S. Polo Association AND Ralph Lauren’s brand. Both Polos had co-existed peacefully for 22 years until 1997 when the magazine decided to focus on the lifestyle aspect of the sport. Ralph Lauren took action and sued Polo’s Texas-based publisher, as he was worried that Polo was hijacking the same type of image projected by his brand. Lauren claimed that the magazine had no right to use the word Polo. In 1999, Ralph Lauren won the suit and the magazine ceased publication. However, in 2001 the ruling was reversed upon appeal and Polo the magazine was resurrected. This time with a disclaimer: “not affiliated with Polo Ralph Lauren.”
5. Zooey Deschanel vs Steve Madden
The quirky actress slapped shoemaker Steve Madden with a lawsuit, for failing to pay her at least $1.5 million for a previously-planned Zooey shoes and accessories brand. The company had orally agreed to manufacture, advertise and sell the brand worldwide for as long as two years. Zooey had turned down some offers due to the binding agreement, but nothing is yet to happen. The case is still open and there were no words from Madden’s people. We’ll see how this one goes.
6. Jay Z’s Roc Nation vs Volcom
As we told you before, Jay-Z’s Roc Nation logo is currently the object of Volcom’s lawsuit due to similarity issues. The clothing line claimed that Roc Nation creates confusion to their brand’s activities and because the merchandise of the two brands are sold at the dealers. Again, we’re still waiting on the development of the story. (Read about another Jay-Z lawsuit here.)