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10 Times Celebrities Sued Famous Companies

Scarlett Johansson at the Oscars

The glittering world of celebrity isn't always as glamorous as many people think, in fact, it often extends into the courtroom with companies getting sued.

From disputes over copyright infringement to battles for personal privacy, celebrities frequently find themselves at odds with companies, both big and small.

Here are 10 notable instances where stars took legal action against firms, highlighting the reasons behind these lawsuits and their outcomes.

Scarlett Johansson vs. Disney (2021)

Avengers star Scarlett Johansson sued Disney for breach of contract over the dual release of "Black Widow" on Disney+.

It has been released on the channel and in theatres at the same time which she claimed reduced her potential earnings tied to box office performance.


The lawsuit was settled out of court, with both parties reaching a mutually beneficial agreement, though specific terms were not disclosed.

This case highlighted issues related to streaming releases and actor compensation.

Hulk Hogan vs. Gawker Media (2016)

Wrestling legend Hulk Hogan sued Gawker for invasion of privacy after it published a sex tape featuring him.

Hogan won a $140 million verdict, leading to Gawker's bankruptcy and eventual sale.

Prince vs. eBay, YouTube, and The Pirate Bay (2007)

Prince took legal action against these platforms for facilitating the distribution of his copyrighted content without permission.

The late musician pursued an aggressive legal stance against copyright infringement, especially on the internet.

The move set a precedent for artists seeking to control their work online.

Details on specific outcomes vary, but Prince's actions signaled to other content creators the importance of protecting their intellectual property rights.

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Kim Kardashian West vs. Missguided USA (2019)

Kim Kardashian sued the fast fashion brand for using her likeness without permission to sell replicas of her outfits.

She won $2.7 million in damages and a court order that barred Missguided USA from using her trademarks.

Tom Cruise vs. Bold Magazine (2001)

Tom Cruise filed a $100 million defamation lawsuit against Bold Magazine for claiming it had video evidence of him engaging in homosexual acts.

The case was settled out of court, with the details undisclosed.

However, it showcased the impact of defamation suits on privacy and reputation management for public figures.

Lindsay Lohan vs. E-Trade (2010)

Lindsay Lohan sued E-Trade for $100 million.

The actress claimed a commercial featuring a "milkaholic" baby named Lindsay was an unauthorized use of her likeness.

The lawsuit was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.

It highlighted the complexities of using celebrity likenesses in advertising without explicit permission.

Rihanna vs. Topshop (2013)

Rihanna sued Topshop in the UK for selling T-shirts bearing her image without her permission.

She won the case, with the court ruling in her favor and establishing a precedent in the UK for celebrity image rights.

Bette Midler vs. Ford Motor Company (1988)

Bette Midler sued Ford for unauthorized use of her voice in a commercial.

Midler won the case, with the court ruling that the use of a sound-alike without her consent constituted a violation of her rights.

It was a landmark ruling that led to the protection of a performers' vocal likenesses and set a legal precedent.

Katherine Heigl vs. Duane Reade (2014)

Actress Katherine Heigl filed a lawsuit against the pharmacy chain for tweeting a photo of her without her consent, which she claimed was commercial use of her image.

The case was settled out of court, with Duane Reade agreeing to make a donation to a charity of Heigl's choice.

The case was an interesting insight into the legalities of of social media use and celebrity images.

Jennifer Lopez vs. Fortnite (2020)

Jennifer Lopez sued Fortnite's makers for allegedly copying a dance move, "The Electric Shuffle," she claimed was her own.

The outcome of this specific case is not clear, as many similar lawsuits against Fortnite have been settled or dismissed.

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