We hear a lot about celebrity lawsuits, but often times, we don’t hear about the settlements reached, because there are frequently non-disclosure agreements included. But as is often the case, information, or at least estimated information, often gets out. Here are five of the highest celebrity lawsuit settlements.
Hulk Hogan – $31 million
In 2012, Gawker media published a clip from a video of Hulk Hogan having sex with a woman who wasn’t his wife. He filed a lawsuit and was ultimately awarded him a total of $140 million in damages. Of course, Gawker couldn’t pay the money and filed for bankruptcy. This ultimately led to the shutdown of Gawker and the sale of many of their affiliated sites. Gawker ultimately settled with Hogan for $31 million.
Scarlett Johannson – $40 million (estimate)
Scarlett Johannson sued Disney after the movie Black Widow was released for streaming on Disney+ while it was still in theaters. Because Johannson’s salary depended in part on how much the film made in theaters, this obviously meant a cut in her final payday, so she filed a lawsuit. They ultimately settled out of court, but it’s estimated that Disney paid her $40 million.
Vanessa Bryant – $16 million
Following the death of her husband, Kobe Bryant, and their daughter, Gianna, LA County firefighters and deputies took pictures of the tragic crash that were ultimately released to the public. Bryant sued the county and was ultimately awarded $16 million dollars.
Erin Andrews – $55 million
In 2008, Erin Andrews was being pursued by a stalker who filmed her while nude through a peephole in the door of her hotel room. The video was posted online and quickly went viral. Andrews sued both the hotel (for not properly protecting her and revealing which room she was in) and the stalker himself. She was awarded $55 million in damages and also worked to enact a new federal anti-stalking law.
Francis Ford Coppola – $80 million!
Way back in 1991, Coppola made a deal with Warner to make a new version of Pinocchio as part of a three picture deal. They couldn’t agree on a directing fee, so Coppola tried to take the picture to a different studio. His vision was to base the movie on the life and death of his son, so it was a very personal project. Warner refused to and blocked the movie, so the film was never made. Coppola sued, arguing that they didn’t have a formal contract, just a handshake deal, so they had no right to block the movie. And he was right – he won $80 million and now handshake deals are a thing of the past.
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Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.