Sometimes legal reality has more twists that reality TV. Yes, Ellen Kardashian’s case has been dramatically trimmed and Yes, Kim and her brother Robert Jr. have had all claims against them dismissed but the widow’s legal fight with her deceased husband’s other children, ex-wife and Ryan Seacrest Productions and Bunim-Murray Productions still lives on. Earlier this week Judge Mitchell Beckloff ruled that the very estranged step-mom of the Keeping Up With Kardashians clan can proceed with a defamation claim of her August 7, 2013 complaint against Kourtney, Kimberly, Khloe and mother Kris Jenner as well the producers of the hit E! reality series. While dismissing Kardashian’s claims of public disclosure of private facts, intentional infliction of emotional distress and conspiracy to defame, the LA Superior judge said that several statements made about Ellen by family members on the June 2, 2013 “Enough Is Enough” episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians were potentially slanderous.
To that end, the widow Kardashian, who sometimes goes by Ellen Pearson-Kardashian, is not forced to show she suffered any actual damages to proceed. “The statements alleged by plaintiff would necessarily damage her professional reputation,” said Judge Beckoff in his February 25 ruling while noting Ellen Kardashians’ previous career in real estate. The dismissal of the other claims comes as no surprise after a February 10 in which the Judge indicated he would cut them but Beckoff had left the defamation claim undecided until this week. The defendants were seeking to get the entire case thrown out. In that desire they failed.
In her 4-claim complaint filed last August against the family and the production companies, Ellen Kardashian said that she was slagged on-air, portrayed as a gold digger and had statements from her deceased husband incorrectly put in her mouth. The plaintiff said this was all part of a constructed reality TV plotline on Season 8 of the Kardashians’ “sordid, decadent and scandalous” show last year. Part of that, said Kardashian came out of a $500,000 “manufactured lawsuit” by the clan that was filed in federal court in April 4, 2013 over her late husband’s diary and photo albums. “This shameful rewriting of history by the Kardashian siblings, at the direction and behest of Jenner, Seacrest, and The Production Company, was motivated by profit and is an insult to the legacy of their own father,” said the summer 2013 complaint from Robert Kardashian’s widow of the June 2013 Keeping Up With The Kardashians episode.
“We are pleased with the court’s ruling overruling the Kardashians’ special motion to strike as to the defamatory statements made by the Kardashians against our client,” Ellen Kardashian’s attorney Arnold Peter told me today. “Contrary to the hope of the Kardashians’ legal team, the ruling has trimmed the excess of this lawsuit and focused the parties on the core issues. This case has been and continues to be about ensuring that the Kardashians follow the law just like everyone else. They cannot hide behind their television show as justification for making defamatory statements about those around them for purposes of ‘entertainment’”, he added.
Peter and Marcus Lee of Beverly Hills’ Peter Law Group are representing Ellen Kardashian. Marty Singer of Lavely & Singer as well as Crystal Jonelis and Daniel Rozansky of the LA offices of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan are representing the defendants.