Ashley Greene’s neighbors
When the West Hollywood condo of Twilight actress Ashley Greene caught on fire in 2013, most tabloid headlines focused on the death of her dog, Marlo. While that is certainly tragic, the less reported angle of the story was the effect the fire had on Greene’s neighbors. The building’s doorman, Adrian Mayorga, along with several other tenants, reportedly sued Greene for property damage and health problems associated with the fire, which was caused by an unattended candle in her home, according to TMZ.It seems the neighborhood’s beef with the actress began before the blaze. According to TMZ, residents claimed Greene was a nuisance who threw loud parties and was constantly disruptive. On top of all of that, some tenants griped that Greene failed to reach out to them to apologize or take responsibility for the fire, though her landlord said she was welcome back.
In 2016, TMZ reported that Greene reached a settlement with the doorman for an undisclosed amount.
Roman Polanski’s sexual assault victim
In 1977, Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski allegedly gave champagne and a Quaalude to then-13-year-old Samantha Gailey at actor Jack Nicholson’s house. He then allegedly engaged in various deviant acts, only one of which he ever pleaded guilty to—unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. Before sentencing, Polanski fled to Paris, then Switzerland, and finally Poland, avoiding extradition to the States, while Gailey, now known as Samantha Geimer, battled the spotlight in the States for decades.Though many have called for Polanski’s to return to the States and serve time behind bars, Geimer said she moved beyond the incident long ago and believed her attacker had been punished adequately. “I don’t really have any hard feelings toward him, or any sympathy, either,” she wrote in an Op/Ed piece in the Los Angeles Times in 2008. “He is a stranger to me.”
Geimer said the worst actors in the whole situation were the court officials, public figures, and press who used her case for their own gains. In 2013, Geimer decided it was time to take back her story, authoring a book titled, The Girl: A Life in the Shadow of Roman Polanski. “[His] arrest was, in a sense, my arrest. Because I am that thirteen-year-old girl,” she writes in an excerpt. “Ask yourself this: Would you like the craziest thing that ever happened to you as a teenager broadcast and then dissected over and over on television, in the blogosphere? Right. I didn’t think so.”
Matthew Broderick’s car accident victims
In 1987, a car that Matthew Broderick was driving in Ireland crashed head-on with another car, killing two people: Anna Gallagher, 30; and her mother, Margaret Doherty, 63. According to The Los Angeles Times, Broderick spent about a month in the hospital for various injuries, but ultimately walked away from the accident with a $175 fine. The initial charge of reckless driving was reduced to careless driving. At the time, the husband of Gallagher referred to the verdict as a “travesty of justice.”Fifteen years after the crash, The New York Post reported that Broderick was planning to meet with the family members of the accident victims, who seemed ready to forgive and move on. “He didn’t kill my mother and sister deliberately,” Martin Doherty told the the Post. “There were strong feelings at the time, but I have since forgiven him and feel no anger toward him.” Added a spokesperson for Broderick, “Matthew is willing to meet up with them. There is no ill will—not any sort of anger. The family is seeking some sort of closure.”
Lance Armstrong’s personal assistant
Mike Anderson worked for years as Lance Armstrong’s personal assistant, bike mechanic, and general gopher under the agreement that after Armstrong was finished competing, he and Armstrong would partner to open a bike shop. But Anderson’s dream became a waking nightmare after Armstrong fired him for allegedly questioning a no-questions-asked policy regarding the champion cyclist’s controversial performance tactics.Telling his story in a piece for Outside Magazine, Anderson said Armstrong backed out of the bike shop agreement after he refused to sign a nondisclosure agreement. That agreement supposedly would have made Anderson financially responsible for a large sum if he “mentioned ever having worked for Armstrong.” Anderson claims the cycling icon went on the offensive, allegedly launching a media and legal blitz against Anderson in a supposed attempt to ruin his reputation. Things got so vicious, Anderson said he had to flee to New Zealand to start his life over. Yep, you read that right, this guy supposedly had to move his family to the other side of the world to try to shake off the stink from his association with Armstrong.
Bill Cosby’s accusers
More than 50 women have accused Bill Cosby of drugging and/or sexually assaulting them. Accuser Andrea Constand, who received a settlement from Cosby in 2006, was the first accuser to file a civil suit against “America’s Dad” after authorities declined to press criminal charges, citing a lack of credible evidence. The civil suit was settled out of court and sealed to the public, but despite the secrecy, Constand’s case became a tipping point. More and more women, from different walks of life and different time periods, began coming forward with very similar stories of abuse. Additional lawsuits followed.In December 2015, after reinvestigating the case and considering new evidence, a court in Montgomery County, Pa. charged Cosby with sexual assault in the case of Constand, marking the first time he has been charged with a crime.
Cosby has denied any wrongdoing. “[He] said “that any sexual relations were consensual,” reported The New York Times. “He has responded to the seven women suing him in federal court in Massachusetts by, in turn, suing them for defamation. He is also suing [Constand], her mother and her lawyers, seeking the return of money from the 2006 confidential financial settlement. He says they broke the agreement by, among other things, voluntarily cooperating with the Montgomery County prosecutors.
Britney Spears’ first ex-husband
Britney Spears has done a lot of wacky things in her career, but fans were flabbergasted when she flew her high school friend, Jason Alexander, in a private jet to Las Vegas and asked him to marry her. “She was like, ‘Well, let’s get married.’ And I was like, ‘Sure. You know, let’s do this,’” he told ABC News. The nuptials were annulled just 55 hours after the couple said “I do.” According to ABC News, the annulment said Spears “”lacked understanding of her actions, to the extent that she was incapable of agreeing to the marriage.” To which Alexander replied: “bulls***.”Bull or not, Alexander—who claimed he was in love with Spears at the time—clearly got a raw deal. Not only did he make national headlines for the couple’s bizarreo wedding, he had to fly back home to Louisiana in coach.
The passenger in Nick Hogan’s DUI accident
Iraq war veteran John Graziano suffered permanent brain damage after wrestler Hulk Hogan’s son, Nick Hogan (real name Nick Bollea), crashed his Toyota Supra into a tree while allegedly driving under the influence in Florida in 2007. Graziano, who was a passenger, suffered injuries that left him in a “minimally conscious state,” according to the Tampa Bay Times. Bollea served 166 days in jail. Graziano will likely need round-the-clock care for the rest of his life.In 2010, Bollea and Hulk Hogan (real name Terry Bollea) reached a confidential financial settlement with Graziano’s attorneys. “John is going to be provided appropriate care for the remainder of his life.” said attorney Kimberly Kohn.
O.J. Simpson’s “theoretical” victims
Though O.J. Simpson was acquitted in criminal court of the murders of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ronald Goldman, O.J. did lose a civil suit brought by the Goldman family, which resulted in Simpson owing $33.5 million dollars. Speaking to CNBC 20 years after the criminal trial, Goldman’s sister, Kim, said the civil suit was a victory in that a jury found O.J. liable for the murders, but the family had endured a decades-long battle to get Simpson to fork over any of the money. With interest, that award totaled more than $40 million dollars by 2014. “We’ve collected less than one percent of that,” Kim said.The Goldmans did receive a relatively small portion of their award after a bankruptcy judge gave them the rights to a ghost-authored book about the murders, which was titled, If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer. Though O.J. claims he was not involved in the writing of the book, he was paid for it and even conducted a promotional interview in which he recounted a hypothetical narrative of the murder, reported The New York Times in 2007.
So, just to recap, the family that lost their son in a gruesome murder and only received a small semblance of justice through a financial settlement is being paid through the profits from a book promoted by the man who claims he didn’t do the crimes but fantasizes about what it would have been like if he did. That’s inconciousable. Case closed.
The Jenny Jones Show murder victim
In 1995, a man named Jonathan Schmitz appeared on The Jenny Jones Show to meet his secret admirer. To his complete shock, Schmitz’s admirer wound up being a man named Scott Amedure. To everyone else’s shock, Schmitz shot and killed Amedure three days after the taping of the episode, which was not aired. Schmitz, who blamed The Jenny Jones Show for his actions in his 911 call, was sentenced to 25-50 years in prison on second-degree murder charges, according to CNN.The family of Amedure filed a wrongful death lawsuit against The Jenny Jones Show and was awarded over $25 million in 1999, reported CNN. The case was thrown out in 2003 by a Michigan court of appeals. The family appealed the decision to the Supreme Court but was denied in 2004, according to People.
The Dancing with the Stars meme target
Dancing with the Stars‘ Val Chmerkovskiy was sued in early 2016 by a 16-year-old girl with Down syndrome who claimed the professional dancer published and popularized a meme that made fun of her weight and shamed her parents. According to People, the meme featured a photo of the girl, who was 9 or 10 years old at the time, drinking soda with the caption, “Letting your kid become obese should be considered child abuse.” The little girl’s family said it discovered the mean meme when her sibling saw it on Chmerkovskiy’s Facebook page. He has since deleted the post, but the family claims the dancer helped the image go viral.The girl and her family are suing for “defamation, emotional distress and invasion of privacy.” People reported. The family is seeking $6 million each from Chmerkovskiy and CBS and $600,000 from the original photographer, who reportedly took the picture at a baseball game in 2008 without the family’s knowledge.
Chmerkovskiy’s responded to mass criticism on his Facebook (via People): “I have no desire to discriminate or shame, I just think people should have a little more knowledge and take more responsibility when it comes to their children’s diet,” he said. When news of the lawsuit broke in January 2016, Chmerkovskiy responded with another dismissive Facebook meme. This one read, “Worry about your character, not your reputation. Your character is who you are. Your reputation is who people think you are.”
Unless, of course, people think you are a fat girl with bad parents because a celebrity told them so.
Justin Bieber’s neighbors
Celebs who ruined innocent lives
What’s it like to live next door to Justin Bieber? If you answered “horrible, terrifying and life-ruining,” you’d be 100 percent correct. At least that’s what two former neighbors claimed in a 2015 lawsuit. Jeffrey and Suzanne Schwartz alleged the “Sorry” singer and his bodyguards “repeatedly harassed them and their family, vandalized their house with eggs and threatened them with anti-Semitic remarks,” according to CNN. Equally awful were allegations that Bieber spat in Jeffrey’s face after Jeffrey told the pop prince he was driving his Ferrari too fast through the streets of their gated community in Calabasas, Calif.
As one might surmise from the suit, the Schwartzes have a pretty rough history with Bieber. In 2014, Bieber pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor vandalism charge stemming from an incident in which he allegedly threw a dozen eggs at the Schwartz’s mansion, according to CNN. He was ordered to pay $80,900 restitution, stay 100 yards away from the family, and was sentenced to two years’ probation. The lawsuit alleged that the Schwartz family was subjected to “constant harassment” by Bieber’s “entourage, fans and the media” after the story broke.
Bieber sold his mansion to another media-friendly celebrity, Khloe Kardashian, in 2014, which, based on what we’ve seen on Keeping Up with the Kardashians, could be the worst thing to happen to the Schwartz family yet.