Burning Question: Justin Bieber makes house guests sign non-disclosure agreements? Come on, really? Who DOES that? — Allison F.
Everybody, is who. Famous people make little people sign non-disclosure agreements all the time.
"It's very common to make household staff — employees, assistants, housekeepers — sign non-disclosure agreements before beginning employment," says celebrity attorney Dan Grigsby. "The logic is, 'You might see my wife and children and others coming and going, you may overhear something about a confidential film project,' so that’s not that uncommon."
Celebrities also like to impose NDAs on folks who are just blowing through their homes for a one-day job.
"A lot of my clients do that," Beverly Hills real estate agent Ben Salem says. "They do it with me, with contractors, with the guy who sells and installs the home security system."
With one exception.
"Weddings," Grigsby notes. "I have used them for weddings."
Still, some stars will make you sign an NDA if you merely want to walk into their house.
Even if you’re thinking about buying said house.
"It depends on if the celebrity is living there," Salem explains. "If not, it's all good, no NDA needed. But if the celebrity is living in the house when a potential buyer wants to come through, yes, I will make that person sign an NDA.
"Also, if this celebrity is a client of mine, I'm going to interview the visitor for 20 minutes, I'm going to call their bank and make sure they really have the funds to buy — I'm going to go three deep."
All that said: Asking someone to sign an NDA is one thing. Enforcing it is another. People who sign NDAs essentially open themselves to lawsuits that could lead to either a court-mandated gag order or a monetary fine — but the latter is hard to wrangle.
After all, to win monetary damages, you have to, you know, prove you've been damaged. And merely talking about a party usually doesn't count as harm.
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