Rothman v. Jackson (1996)

[No. B092937. Second Dist., Div. Three. Oct 1, 1996.]

BARRY K. ROTHMAN et al., Plaintiffs and Appellants, v. MICHAEL JACKSON et al., Defendants and Respondents.

(Superior Court of Los Angeles County, No. SC032081, David B. Finkel fn. † and Alan B. Haber, Judges.)

(Opinion by Croskey, Acting P. J., with Kitching and Aldrich, JJ., concurring.)


Wylie A. Aitken, Darren O. Aitken and Herbert Hafif for Plaintiffs and Appellants.

Kinsella, Boesch, Fujikawa & Towle, Dale F. Kinsella, Catherine H. Coleman, Alan R. Kossoff, Katten, Muchin, Zavis & Weitzman, Katten, Muchin & Zavis, Mark A. Wooster, Zia F. Modabber and E. Randol Schoenberg for Defendants and Respondents.


CROSKEY, Acting P. J.

Barry K. Rothman and the Law Offices of Barry K. Rothman (hereafter, collectively, Rothman) appeal from judgments of dismissal entered in favor of Michael Jackson, MJJ Productions, Inc. (hereafter, collectively, Jackson), Bertram Fields, the Law Offices of Greenberg, Glusker, Fields, Claman & Machtinger (Fields), Anthony Pellicano and the Pellicano Investigative Agency (Pellicano) in Rothman’s action for defamation, tortious interference with business relationships and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The judgments were entered after the defendants’ demurrers were sustained without leave to amend. The demurrers were sustained as to all causes of action solely on the ground of the litigation privilege in Civil Code section 47, subdivision (b). fn. 1

We reverse. The challenged statements were made by the defendants in a press conference, and not in any context which the litigation privilege exists to protect. The privilege in section 47, subdivision (b) does not apply to the statements made in this case. Continue reading

Jackson v. Paramount Pictures Corp. (1998) – Victor Gutierrez Slander Case

[No. B114354. Second Dist., Div. Four. Oct 28, 1998.]

MICHAEL JACKSON, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. PARAMOUNT PICTURES CORPORATION et al., Defendants and Respondents.

(Superior Court of Los Angeles County, No. BC119778, Reginald A. Dunn, Judge.)

(Opinion by Curry, J., with Vogel (C. S.), P. J., and Epstein, J., concurring.)


Katten, Muchin & Zavis, Zia F. Modabber and Steve Cochran for Plaintiff and Appellant.

Christensen, Miller, Fink, Jacobs, Glaser, Weil & Shapiro, Patricia L. Glaser and Ronald E. Guttman for Defendants and Respondents.



Appellant Michael Jackson brought suit against respondents Paramount Pictures Corporation, Diane Dimond, and Stephen Doran, alleging that he had been slandered by reports broadcast on the television program Hard Copy fn. 1 and in a radio interview with Dimond. During these broadcasts, the search for and purported existence of a videotape showing appellant inappropriately touching an underage boy in a sexual manner were discussed. The trial court granted summary judgment to respondents based on the truth of the statements made in the broadcasts and the lack of evidence of malice. After review of the record and the evidence in support of and in opposition to the summary judgment motion, we affirm the trial court’s ruling. Continue reading