The Quick 10: 10 Odd Celebrity Lawsuits

Have you heard about this ridiculous Lindsay Lohan lawsuit? In case you haven't, it's below at number one. It's a bit silly, at least in my non-lawyerly opinion. But there's a long line of litigious luminaries who paved the way for Lindsay, so who knows? Maybe her case has a shot. Here are a few of them.

milk1. Lindsay Lohan vs. E-Trade. If you watched the Super Bowl and all of its commercials, you probably remember the E-Trade babies. One baby accuses her "boyfriend" of having that "milk-a-holic, Lindsay," over. Lohan decided E-Trade was using her name without her permission, claiming she has the same kind of single-name recognition as Madonna or Cher, and that saying the baby was a "milk-a-holic" was making light of her personal issues with alcohol and drugs. Everything is still pending, but my guess is that she's going to lose this one. I saw the commercial and I never made the connection between the infant and the actress with infantile behavior. Did you? Here's the commercial in question.

2. Dustin Hoffman vs. Los Angeles magazine. Back in 1999, Hoffman didn't really appreciate the fact that the magazine Photoshopped a picture of him in a spangled dress from Tootsie - a movie in which he dresses as a woman "“ and put him in a different gown and heels. He demanded $5 million and ended up winning $3 million.

3. Vanna White vs. Samsung Electronics. Samsung ran an ad in the late '80s depicting a blonde robot in an evening dress turning letters on a game show. Apparently it hit a little too close to home for Ms. White - she sued and won, but the judge's ruling for Vanna has been highly criticized ever since.

504. 50 Cent vs. Taco Bell. Don't expect Curtis Jackson to make a run for the border anytime soon. In 2008, 50 sued Taco Bell because of an ad campaign in which the company jokingly beseeched the rapper to change his name to "99 Cent" to promote their 99-cent menu. Fiddy wasn't amused, especially after his fans started mocking him for selling out to Taco Bell, and sued them for using his name without his permission. Taco Bell countersued for $4 million. They ended up settling out of court last year.

5. Ron Livingston vs. Anonymous Wikipedia User. Just a few months ago, Ron Livingston was apparently perusing Wikipedia when he happened to notice that the entry under his name called him "A Gay." Since Wikipedia is powered by anonymous users who can edit at will, it's pretty hard to actually sue anyone. The lawsuit names "John Doe." But it must be scaring someone away, because there is currently no mention of him being "A Gay" on Wikipedia right now.

6. Willem Van Muyden vs. Elizabeth Taylor. Van Muyden was Taylor's gardener until she let him go because he refused to have sex with her butler/lover. At least, that's what Van Muyden claimed. The gardener said the butler was having a hard time "getting sexually aroused in order to service Taylor's sexual needs," and wanted a little help in that department from Van Muyden. Van Muyden said no and was subsequently fired. But the lawsuit was settled and, according to Taylor's lawyer, no one was paid anything. He said Van Muyden was fired, yes, but it was for employing illegal immigrants and threatening members of the household.

7. Johnny Carson vs. Here's Johnny Portable Toilets. Yeah, I wouldn't have been too happy about this one if I were Carson. In 1976, a company began selling "Here's Johnny" porta-potties. The proprietor of the company might have been able to plead ignorance if he hadn't added the tagline, "The World's Foremost Commodian," but he really tipped his hand with that one. Shockingly, Carson lost. The court decided that since Carson's image wasn't used, he wasn't defamed and there was no invasion of privacy. His legal team appealed and won the second time around.

allen8. Allen Heckard vs. Michael Jordan and Phil Knight. Allen, apparently a dead ringer for the basketball legend (he's pictured at the left, what do you think?), was tired of constantly being asked to sign autographs and pose for pictures. So, he sued Jordan, because obviously it's his fault they look alike. He also sued Nike founder Phil Knight for promoting Jordan and making him a household name and face. The amount he wants? $832 MILLION DOLLARS. Really. When asked how he arrived at that particular sum, Heckard said, "Well, you figure with my age and you multiply that times seven and ah, then I turn around and ah I figure that's what it all boils down to." The case is still pending, but there's no way he can win this one"¦ is there??

9. Unnamed Chef vs. Simon Cowell. Well, you can safely say this lady wasn't trying to extort money from Cowell "“ all she wanted from this lawsuit was the return of her sneakers, which were fitted with $500 orthopedic insoles. She was interviewing for a chef position in the Cowell household and removed her shoes at the door as so not to track dirt all over the house. She was given a clean pair to wear while she was there for the interview. The chef failed to get her shoes back after the interview "“ she says she was given someone else's shoes instead. She sued for the cost of the shoes, plus her court costs, plus the $9 in gas it cost her to make the trip to Simon's house.

10. Mariah Carey vs. Mary Carey. I wouldn't think most people would be confused between Mariah and Mary, but I'm apparently wrong. In 2006, singer Mariah Carey sued porn star Mary Carey for having a stage name that was just a bit too similar for her liking. Mariah claimed that Mary's choice of profession was hurting her own image. A judge agreed, and as of January 2007, Mary Carey can no longer legally go by such.

Do any other famous lawsuits come to mind? And what do you think about the whole Lindsay lawsuit "“ does she have a case, or is this just another way to get her name in the press?

10 Sweet Facts About Candy Canes

The sweet and striped shepherd’s hooks can be found just about everywhere during the holiday season. It's time you learned a thing or two (or 10) about them.


While the origins of the candy cane are a bit murky, legend has it that they first appeared in hooked form around 1670. Candy sticks themselves were pretty common, but they really took shape when the choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany got the bright idea of twisting them to look like shepherd’s hooks. He then handed them out to kids during church services to keep them quiet.


It’s no surprise, then, that it was a German immigrant who introduced the custom to America. The first reference we can find to the tradition stateside is 1847, when August Imgard of Wooster, Ohio, decked his home out with the sugary fare.


Candy canes without the red don’t seem nearly as cheery, do they? But that’s how they were once made: all white. We’re not really sure who or exactly when the scarlet stripe was added, but we do know that images on cards before the 1900s show snow white canes.


Most candy canes are around five inches long, containing only about 50 calories and no fat or cholesterol.


The world’s largest candy cane was built by Geneva, Illinois chef Alain Roby in 2012.  It was 51 feet long, required about 900 pounds of sugar, and was eventually smashed up with a hammer so people could take home a piece.


Fifty-four percent of kids suck on candy canes, compared to the 24 percent who just go right for the big crunch. As you may have been able to guess, of those surveyed, boys were nearly twice as likely to be crunchers.


According to the National Confectioners Association, about 1.2 billion candy canes are made annually, and 90 percent of those are sold between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Which honestly begs the question: Who’s buying the 10 percent in the off season?


Bobs (that’s right; no apostrophe) Candies was the first company to really hang its hat on the sweet, striped hook. Lt. Bob McCormack began making candy canes for his kids in the 1920s, and they were such a hit he decided to start mass-producing them. With the help of his brother-in-law, a Catholic priest named Gregory Harding Keller (and his invention, the Keller Machine), McCormack was eventually able to churn out millions of candy canes a day.


December 26 is National Candy Cane Day. Go figure.


Here’s how they make candy canes at Disneyland—it’s a painstaking (and beautiful) technique.

10 Actors Who Hated Their Own Films

1. Sylvester Stallone, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot. Sly doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to his film career. Despite co-starring with the delightful Estelle Getty as the titular violence-prone mother, Stallone knows just how bad the film was:

"I made some truly awful movies. Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot was the worst. If you ever want someone to confess to murder, just make him or her sit through that film. They will confess to anything after 15 minutes."

2. Alec Guinness, Star Wars.

By the time he played Obi-Wan Kenobi in 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope, Guinness had already appeared in cinematic classics like The Bridge on the River Kwai, Great Expectations and Lawrence of Arabia. During production, Guinness is reported to have said the following:

"Apart from the money, I regret having embarked on the film. I like them well enough, but it's not an acting job, the dialogue - which is lamentable - keeps being changed and only slightly improved, and I find myself old and out of touch with the young."

The insane amount of fame he won for the role as the wise old Jedi master took him somewhat by surprise and, ultimately, annoyed him. In his autobiography A Positively Final Appearance: A Journal, Guinness recalls a time he encountered an autograph-seeking fan who boasted to him about having watched Star Wars more than 100 times. In response, Guinness agreed to provide the boy an autograph under the condition that he promise never to watch the film again.

3. Bob Hoskins, Super Mario Brothers. He was in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. As far as I’m concerned, Bob Hoskins is forgiven for Super Mario Bros. Hoskins, though, doesn’t seem to be able to forgive himself. Last year the Guardian spoke with the veteran actor about his career and he summed up his feelings rather succinctly:

What is the worst job you've done?
Super Mario Brothers.

What has been your biggest disappointment?
Super Mario Brothers.

If you could edit your past, what would you change?
I wouldn't do Super Mario Brothers.

4. George Clooney, Batman & Robin. Sure, Batman & Robin made money. But by every other imaginable measure, the film was a complete failure, and a nightmare to the vast majority of the Caped Crusader’s most fervent fanatics. Star George Clooney recognized what a stinker he helped create and once plainly stated, “I think we might have killed the franchise.”

5. David Cross, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked. When actors have a movie out, it's customary that they publicize the film by saying nice things about it. Earlier this year David Cross took a different approach. When it came to describing his new film Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, the veteran comedian — better known for Mr. Show and Arrested Development — went on Conan and called the film a “big commercial for Carnival Cruise Lines” and told people not to go see it.

6. Katherine Heigl, Knocked Up. Judd Apatow’s unplanned pregnancy comedy was a huge hit and helped cement her status as a bankable film actress. After the film’s release, however, Heigl didn’t have all good things to say. In fact, what she specifically said about it was that the film was:

"…A little sexist. It paints the women as shrews, as humorless and uptight, and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys.”

7. Charlize Theron, Reindeer Games. The 2000 action film Reindeer Games starred Ben Affleck, Gary Sinese and Charlize Theron and was directed by John Frankenheimer. But it all somehow failed to come together. In the end the film lost a lot of money and compiled a wealth of negative reviews – including one from its star actress who simply said, “Reindeer Games was not a good movie.”

8. Mark Wahlberg, The Happening. Mark Wahlberg doesn’t exactly seem like a guy who lives his life afraid of trees. But that is the odd position M. Night Shyamalan’s 2008 film The Happening put him in. Wahlberg, as it turns out, doesn’t look back too fondly on the film. He went on record during a press conference for The Fighter when he described a conversation with a fellow actor:

"We had actually had the luxury of having lunch before to talk about another movie and it was a bad movie that I did. She dodged the bullet. And then I was still able to … I don’t want to tell you what movie … alright “The Happening.” F*** it. It is what it is. F***ing trees, man. The plants. F*** it. You can’t blame me for not wanting to try to play a science teacher. At least I wasn’t playing a cop or a crook."

9. John Cusack, Better Off Dead. John Cusack reportedly hated his cult 80s comedy so much that he walked out of the screening and later told the film’s director Steve Holland that Better Off Dead was "the worst thing I have ever seen" and he would "never trust you as a director again."

10 Christopher Plummer, The Sound of Music. The Sound of Music is considered a classic and has delighted many generations of fans. But the film's own lead actor, Christopher Plummer, didn't always sing its praises. Mr. Von Trapp himself declined to participate in a 2005 film reunion and, according to one acquaintance, has referred to the film as The Sound of Mucus.



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