Celebrity Blogger Sues Photography Firm For Unfair Competition

Celebrity Blogger Sues Photography Firm For Unfair Competition

LexisNexis® Mealey's™California Section 17200 Report
Volume 5, Issue #11 · July 2007

Injury claimed: Unfair competition

Defendant(s): X17 Inc., Francois Navarre, Brandy Navarre

Case name: Mario Lavandeira dba Perez Hilton v. X17 Inc., et al., No. BC373254

Court: Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.

Date filed: June 25

Individual / group / class: Individual

Theories of recovery: Unfair competition; common law unfair competition; negligent hiring, supervision and retention; injunctive relief; declaratory relief; restitution; disgorgement of profits; compensatory and punitive damages

Other: Mario Lavandeira, who goes by the name Perez Hilton, claims that he runs a Web log, www. perezhilton. com, in which he posts photos of celebrities. Hilton transforms these photographs visually and adds comments using his own brand of humor, he claims. Hilton claims that X17, a celebrity photography company, launched a copycat blog. Hilton argues that X17 expects him to license the pictures he uses on his Web site. But Hilton alleges that X17 owner Francois Navarre and his wife, Brandy, fund their lifestyle on the backs of their employees, who are forced to work 12-hour days, six to seven days a week without legally mandated overtime. Hilton also alleges that the X17 photographers are not given information about the money X17 receives from the sale of their photographs.

Plaintiff counsel: Bryan J. Freedman and Matthew E. Voss, Freedman & Taitelman, Los Angeles; Gregory L. Doll and Michael M. Amir, Doll, Amir & Eley, Los Angeles

Post-filing events: None

(Complaint available. Document #58-070725-033C.)