Cooley Successfully Defends Kardashian-Jenner Family in Defamation, Contract Interference Lawsuit
San Francisco – May 9, 2022 – Cooley won a high-profile jury trial in Los Angeles, successfully defending the Kardashian-Jenner family against claims brought by Blac Chyna, whose legal name is Angela White, for defamation and intentional interference with her E! network talent agreement. The plaintiff sought more than $100 million in damages. Partners Michael Rhodes and Michelle Doolin led the Cooley team.
Chyna filed the lawsuit in 2017 against Kris and Kylie Jenner and Kim and Khloe Kardashian after the end of her relationship with Rob Kardashian – and, consequently, the E! network not picking up a second season of the reality TV series “Rob & Chyna,” which centered around the former couple’s romantic relationship. In her complaint, Chyna alleged that her career was damaged because of the Kardashian-Jenner family’s actions, including allegedly proliferating false claims of physical abuse to E! network executives, and that she was entitled to more than $100 million in compensatory and punitive damages for defamation and intentional interference with contract.
The highly publicized and closely watched trial, which began on April 18, lasted for 10 days and involved the Cooley team cross-examining several key witnesses, including Chyna. On April 29, Judge Gregory W. Alarcon of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County in California granted Cooley’s oral motion for a directed verdict on the defamation claim against Kim Kardashian. After two days of deliberation, the jury then cleared all four members of the Kardashian-Jenner family of any and all wrongdoing, awarding no damages to Chyna.
Rhodes has represented the Kardashian-Jenner family for the past several years and serves as the family’s principal outside litigation counsel. Legal matters he has handled for the family include trade secrets, trademark, employment, crypto and real estate cases, along with advising family members on various aspects of their multi-billion-dollar business activities and brand. Doolin also has represented the Kardashian-Jenner family in various legal matters, including a range of employment and advertising matters.
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