July 13, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Kardashian siblings awarded attorneys’ fees after dismissal of defamation case

 

A lawsuit was filed against the Kardashian siblings by their stepmother. (Thinkstock)
A lawsuit was filed against the Kardashian siblings by their stepmother. (Thinkstock)

A judge collectively awarded more than $84,000 in attorneys’ fees to the four Kardashian siblings, their mother and two production companies to compensate them for fighting a defamation case filed by the siblings’ stepmother, most of which was dismissed.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff’s ruling was less than a third of the $300,000 in total sought against the siblings’ stepmother, Ellen Kardashian.

Beckloff heard arguments on the motion May 5 and took the case under submission before ruling this month, court papers obtained today show.

Lawyers for Kourtney, Kim, Khloe and Robert Kardashian Jr., their mother, Kris Jenner, Bunim-Murray Productions and Ryan Seacrest Productions said a significant portion of Ellen Kardashian’s case was dismissed Feb. 25 by Beckloff, leaving four of 14 alleged defamatory statements to be tried by a jury.

Bunim-Murray and Ryan Seacrest Productions produce the Kardashians’ reality shows.

Beckloff rejected the plaintiff’s argument that there was a conspiracy among her stepchildren and their mother to defame her, according to the court papers filed by the defendants’ attorneys.

Defense attorneys said the preparation for the motion to dismiss the case included extensive legal research and holding discussions with their clients about their depositions. However, during the May hearing, Beckloff questioned some of the billings, saying the amount of hours the defense attorneys claimed to have worked was “extraordinary.”

The Kardashian siblings and Jenner sought $148,565 in attorneys’ fees and another $4,343 in legal costs, for a total of nearly $153,000. The production companies asked for attorneys’ fees and costs totaling more than $159,000.

In his ruling, Beckloff awarded $43,363 in attorneys’ fees and $3,600 in costs to the production companies. The Kardashian defendants received $33,255 in attorneys’ fees and $4,343 in costs.

Ellen Kardashian married attorney Robert Kardashian two months before he died of cancer in September 2003. She sued Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian, Robert Jr. and Jenner, as well as Ryan Seacrest Productions, last August.

Ellen Kardashian’s suit alleges that during an episode of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” in June 2013, she was portrayed as a gold digger. The statements were later published on Twitter.

In his earlier ruling, Beckloff found that Ellen Kardashian demonstrated that four statements are potentially slanderous on their face and therefore she does not have to demonstrate that she suffered any damages.

The judge noted that Ellen Kardashian worked in real estate both before and after meeting Robert Kardashian.

“While plaintiff did not specify in what aspect she was involved regarding real estate, the escrow business is one requiring high ethical standards and unscrupulous honesty,” Beckloff wrote in the 16-page ruling. “The statements alleged by plaintiff would necessarily damage her professional reputation.”

Defense attorneys argued Ellen Kardashian’s case should have been dismissed because it infringed on their clients’ right to free speech.

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